Britain announces 300 million pound 'winter survival package' for sport

Netball is among the sports to benefit from the UK Government's funding package

Rugby union will receive the biggest single amount, with £135 million ear-marked for the sport.

The cash injection is largely made up of loans. Premiership clubs will take £59 million, whilst the governing body, Rugby Football Union (RFU), will pocket £44 million.

Horse racing will get 40 million pounds to support racecourses closed to spectators, while the National League, which sits below the Football league, and women's football receive 28 million pounds. The National League - the competition immediately below the EFL - has already received support to enable it to begin its 2020-21 season.

"There's talk of them returning, but being brutally honest, you've got the National League talking about trying to extend the support which makes you think we're not going to have fans back in soon".

Football as a whole will not completely miss out on state funding, however, with the Women's Super League reportedly set to be named as one of the beneficiaries.

Premier League football has coped relatively well due to its lucrative domestic and overseas TV deals and there is a feeling within Government it should support the lower divisions.

Asked about the issue during Prime Minister's Questions, Johnson said: "We don't want any football team to go out of business as a result of this pandemic and we're doing everything we can".

Basketball is in line for £4 million in a bid to help the sport during the coronavirus pandemic
Basketball is in line for £4 million in a bid to help the sport during the coronavirus pandemic

"Clubs are the beating hearts of their communities - this boost will help them survive this hard winter period", said Department for Culture Media and Sport minister Oliver Dowden.

"We will continue to work with Government on the detailed follow up discussions to find the appropriate balance between loans and grants for the different areas of the game and the models for review and distribution".

The 13 Premiership member clubs - the 12 who start the new season this weekend, plus relegated Saracens - will bid to the league for funds, which will be allocated on the basis of need.

"Whilst the government's overall economic package has provided a significant buffer, it is absolutely right that we now intervene to protect entire sports, and the communities they support, as we navigate this pandemic".

Elite football - the Premier League and English Football League - is set to miss out along with cricket, according to reports, but both rugby codes and horse racing are among those expected to receive financial assistance. "We know the vast majority of sports, many of which operate on tight financial margins, have been making serious cost reductions, such as locking down grounds, taking up the furlough scheme for many staff and halting excess payments", said Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.

Finally, the remaining sum will be shared out among owners of motorsport circuits (£6 million), the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and England Netball (£2 million).

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