Premier League yet to agree bailout for lower league clubs

LONDON (AP) — Premier League clubs are yet to agree to a financial bailout for England’s lower-division clubs, who are struggling to cope with games being played without fans.

The 20 topflight club held a virtual meeting on Tuesday, two days after the government asked the world’s richest league to “play its part” with support for the English Football League.

The Premier League will fund coronavirus tests for any lower-league clubs that play top-division teams in the FA Cup or League Cup.

The EFL has estimated that its 72 clubs will lose 200 million pounds ($255 million) if there are no crowds for the rest of this season. The EFL said they have lost 50 million pounds during last season’s pandemic disruption.

The Premier League has publicly expressed its disappointment that the government halted plans for fans to return to stadiums for the first time since March as coronavirus cases are rising.

The Premier League clubs have agreed on a way of finalizing the season if it cannot be completed due to the second wave of the pandemic. The final standings will be determined on a points-per-game basis, but clubs have not determined the minimum threshold for the number of games to be completed.

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