LONDON (AP) — England’s second-tier Championship secured a funding package worth more than $160 million on Monday that will enable clubs to meet their tax liabilities amid a downturn in revenues during the pandemic.

There have been no spectators for matches in the division for the equivalent of a full season since the coronavirus outbreak, meaning clubs in the 24-team league have lost around $200 million in gate receipts as well as other matchday revenue streams.

“The support will be pivotal to clubs being able to re-evaluate their financial position,” said Rick Parry, chairman of the English Football League, which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, “and help them start to plot their way out of the pandemic and plan with greater certainty for 2021/22 when we are hoping for the return of fans in large numbers.”

The Premier League committed to paying up to $20 million in support of the EFL securing the loan facility, the EFL said.

The top-flight has previously made up to nearly $70 million in financial aid available to clubs in the third and fourth tiers of English soccer to help cover costs during the pandemic.


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