Professional and Amateur Sport: Government Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 30th September 2020.

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Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 12:45 pm, 30th September 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for that comprehensive list of questions; I shall try to address as many as I can. She is absolutely right that the Government support needs to go to those in most need. Therefore, the criteria—which, as she recognised and accepted, are being developed by a fantastic team at DCMS literally as we speak—will be based on those most in need and will absolutely be focused on gate receipts. The purpose of the financial support is to help those who are most impacted by the 1 October decision. Therefore, that will obviously drive the criteria.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right as well that this goes way beyond football. Immediately after the Prime Minister made his announcements last Tuesday, the Secretary of State and I had conversations with 12 of the major spectator sports, which will definitely be included. We are asking for information about where the most exposure is. Again, I cannot give the details today because—I am afraid this may be a recurring theme —we are working on them as I speak.

My hon. Friend raised many other issues, including the involvement of the Premier League. We have had constructive conversations with the Premier League and the EFL, which recognise their responsibility. They are at the top of the pyramid, and it is perfectly fair and reasonable that those with the broadest shoulders carry the biggest burden. They understand and accept that, and we are working on the details at the moment.

My hon. Friend also raised the important issue of grassroots sport, much of which can of course continue. We pressed pause on the plan to roll out elite sport, but we want to get back to it as soon as possible.