Major sports in England will receive a combined £300 million cash injection to protect their immediate futures over the winter.
The Sports Winter Survival Package will support sports from national governing bodies through to clubs impacted by coronavirus.
Support will be provided to rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and the lower tiers of the National League. Rugby League, motorsport, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing are also in line to benefit.
Preliminary allocations have been made on a needs based assessment process and reflect the submissions made from the individual sports, and the funding process will be overseen by an independent decision-making board and supported by Sport England.
The announcement builds on support the government has already given the sport sector to help it stay afloat during this difficult time. Earlier this year the Government stepped in to protect rugby league with £16 million in emergency loans, and in October announced that £100 million would be provided to support council-run leisure centres most in need. Sport England announced a £220 million emergency fund for grassroots clubs in April.
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:
Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities, and this £300 million boost will help them survive this difficult winter period.
We promised to stand by sports when we had to postpone fans returning. We are doing just that by delivering another £300 million on top of existing business support schemes.
Britain is a sports powerhouse, and this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through covid.
Nigel Huddleston, Sports Minister, said:
Over the past few weeks we have worked tirelessly with sport governing bodies and clubs across the country to fully assess what support is needed, as a result of the decision to postpone the return of fans.
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.
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.
The money will be divided below
Rugby Union: £135 million
Horseracing: £40 million
Football: £28 million
Rugby League: £12 million
Motorsport: £6 million
Tennis: £5 million
Netball: £4 million
Basketball: £4 million
Ice Hockey: £4 million
Badminton: £2 million
Greyhound racing: £1 million
The EFL, whose clubs have been particularly badly hit by the loss of matchday revenue, is yet to agree terms of a bail-out with the Premier League.
Commenting on the announcement today of a major recovery package for Rugby League, Bradford South MP and Chair of the All-Party Group for Rugby League, Judith Cummins MP said:
“I welcome the financial package announced today which is vital to securing a future for Rugby League throughout these difficult times. Working together with the RFL we have worked cross party to use our collective voices to raise the profile and the specific issues facing the sport with Government throughout the pandemic.
“Today is also a big positive for Rugby League on the world stage with the announcement of a major new commercial partner for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and the success of the ticket ballot which further underlines the significance of the sport across the country.”