The British government is confident the Premier League will play its part in helping lower tier clubs survive the financial ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston said on Wednesday.
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LONDON: The British government is confident the Premier League will play its part in helping lower tier clubs survive the financial ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston said on Wednesday.
Speaking in parliament, Huddleston said it was "vitally important" the big-spending clubs accepted their responsibilities.
"We expect and we require them to help further down the pyramid," he added.
"I have to say, that is exactly what the Premier League do seem to understand and I am confident that they will play their part and that we will have an announcement very soon."
The Premier League has discussed a possible cash bail-out of the English Football League (EFL) but clubs are reportedly split, with some feeling they already contribute through transfer fees.
Clubs in the three tiers below the Premier League rely heavily on spectator attendance, with forecast losses of around 200 million pounds (US$255 million) if they have to play all season behind closed doors.
Huddleston confirmed that National League clubs, the fifth tier of English soccer, had been given government assurances that they would have financial support to start their season this weekend.
"We are looking for the Premier League to play its part, particularly with the EFL (English Football League), and then the government money (will be) focused on those that are desperately in need," said Huddleston.
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