Shrewsbury Town welcome Premier League's £50million rescue package but await more detail

Shrewsbury Town have welcomed the Premier League’s £50million rescue package heading the way of League One and Two clubs – as they await more details of its form.

A general view of the Montgomery Waters Meadow the home stadium of Shrewsbury Town as they play Gillingham without any fans present due the COVID-19 pandemic. (AMA)
A general view of the Montgomery Waters Meadow the home stadium of Shrewsbury Town as they play Gillingham without any fans present due the COVID-19 pandemic. (AMA)

After revealing in a statement that the Liverpool and Manchester United-driven Project Big Picture will not be pursued, the top flight announced the financial bailout for the 48 clubs in the EFL’s bottom two leagues.

And now the Montgomery Waters Meadow club are waiting to discover how and when the support will be delivered.

The Premier League said its rescue package will consist of interest-free loans and grants. Town are hopeful that most of the support will arrive in the form of grants and not loans.

Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell told the Shropshire Star: “I am sure I speak for all League One and League Two clubs that its good to hear that the Premier League clubs appreciate the financial issues facing all clubs in our leagues.

“We will await details and guidance on this from EFL in due course. It is a concern that the monies include interest free loans as we all know these need to be repaid in the future so hopefully any rescue package is weighted heavily in grants rather than loans.”

The Premier League confirmed their determination to ensure League One and Two clubs ‘do not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of Covid-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season’.

The bailout comes as encouraging news for lower-league clubs – the majority of whom, including Shrewsbury Town, had supported Project Big Picture.

Top-flight clubs voted against the controversial plans in yesterday’s meeting, but Town felt the idea could have narrowed ‘huge financial gaps’ in the pyramid and made the lower league more sustainable.

Caldwell revealed Town – along with the majority of clubs in the EFL’s bottom two divisions – were ready to give initial support to Project Big Picture.

“Clubs don’t have every detail as yet on Project Big Picture, but it would appear on information provided to date to bring a short and long-term solution to making clubs more sustainable throughout the football pyramid especially in Leagues One and Two,” Town’s CEO told the Shropshire Star before its rejection.

“It also seeks to narrow the huge financial gaps that currently exist between the Premier League and Championship and also between the Championship and League One, which will greatly assist relegated clubs across all divisions rather than the current threat of financial instability that can occur in the current structure.

“I think most League One and League Two clubs will be for it as could potentially solve short-term and long-term issues as (we could) potentially be getting two or three times what we normally get in central monies, yet the proposal seems clear that they don’t want any control over EFL matters, which would stay with EFL.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News