London, Oct 18 (IANS) A multi-million dollar lifeline was announced on Sunday by the United Kingdom’s Culture and Sports Secretary Oliver Dowden to help lower league football clubs in England.
The $13 million lifeline from the National Lottery aims to keep struggling clubs afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, Xinhua news agency reports.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) said the support will benefit the 66 clubs in the fifth and six tiers of English football to continue to play behind closed doors after the return of fans was paused due to rising infection rates.
“The emergency support package, which will reach clubs quickly via the Football Association (FA), is in recognition of the important role National League clubs play in their local areas, being a source of pride to their towns, giving children opportunities to get active, and being at the heart of their communities,” said a spokesperson for DCMS.
Mark Bullingham, CEO of the FA, said: “This financial support is crucial as these clubs are the heartbeat of their communities and it would be a travesty if they were not able to survive.
“The return of fans to stadiums remains a priority for us and we will continue to work to reintroduce spectators safely as soon as possible.”