THE British government announces a £300m (€335m) ‘winter survival package’ to try to help the sporting sector recover from the devasting impact made by the COVID pandemic.
The announcement of the whopping cash injection, largely made up of loans, was made on Thursday, November 19, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The department said: “Support will be provided to rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and the lower tiers of the National League football,” however, the deal will exclude the Premier League and cricket.
“Rugby League, motorsport, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing are also in line to benefit.”
The much-needed cash boost comes after more than 100 sports bodies wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in September to ask for emergency funding, calling for investment, tax incentives, and regulatory reform.
They stated COVID-19 had undermined commercial revenue streams with stadiums and leisure facilities closed. Lack of spectators or venues greatly reduced in their capacity are also reasons cited for the need for help.
“We know the vast majority of sports, many of which operate on tight financial margins, have been making serious cost reductions, such as locking down grounds, taking up the furlough scheme for many staff and halting excess payments,” said Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.
“Whilst the Government’s overall economic package has provided a significant buffer, it is absolutely right that we now intervene to protect entire sports, and the communities they support, as we navigate this pandemic.”
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