The Government has announced the latest tranche of funding from the winter phase of its Sport Survival Package, which will see £88 million in loan support provided to Premiership Rugby Union clubs.
Clubs have been through a rigorous application and due diligence process to determine their financial needs. The support will cover essential survival costs due to the lack of spectators for an extended period due to the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases owners have been required to inject additional support alongside that provided by the government to protect their clubs.
Premiership Rugby clubs are largely reliant on ticket sales and fans being in stadiums to remain solvent. This funding will allow the league to complete its 2020/21 season.
It follows the Government recently announcing more than £40 million provided to support grassroots rugby union clubs, up to £5.5 million to support the launch of the men’s Championship competition earlier this month, and £1.1 million for professional women’s rugby, including the Premier 15s and covid-19 related costs for the Red Roses’ Women’s Six Nations campaign.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said:
Chair of the independent Board, Sir Ian Cheshire said:
The £300 million winter phase of the Government’s Sport Survival Package is focused on helping those major spectator sports severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions survive the winter.
In addition to support for men’s Championship, women’s and grassroots rugby union, over recent weeks funding has also been provided to National League and women’s football, badminton, basketball, netball and ice hockey.
Submissions for support have been made from individual sports to an independent decision-making Board, supported by Sport England.
The Sport Survival Package is the most generous bespoke support from any Government for its domestic sport sector in the world. It comes as part of the sector benefiting from more than £1.5 billion worth of business support that has been made available by the Government, including the furlough scheme, business rates relief and business interruption loan scheme that has helped many sports clubs and leisure businesses to survive.
Earlier this month the Chancellor announced a further £300 million of support via the Sport Survival Package that is expected to benefit major summer spectator sports such as cricket, tennis and horse racing, as the path out of lockdown continues and sports stadia initially open at reduced capacities. Further details, including how cash will be distributed, how organisations can apply and timeframes, will be announced by Sport England in the coming weeks.
According to Sport England further confirmations of funding from the Sports Winter Survival Package will be made in due course.