Football: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues to secure support for the Sport of Association Football and clubs at all levels of the game.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Football clubs are the bedrock of our local communities and it is vital they are protected at all levels of the game. That is why we have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many football clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

The government has also been consistently clear that it expects football to support itself through this time. The Premier League and English Football League were some of the first elite competitions to return "behind closed doors", which enabled vital broadcast revenue to flow into the sport to look after the wider football family, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans. The government also ensured Project Restart was shared with everyone by getting Premier League football on the BBC for the first time ever.

The government recognises the implications for sports clubs of not being able to admit spectators to stadia from 1 October, and are working urgently on what we can do now to support them. The Department will continue to work with colleagues across Whitehall to support the sector.

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