Connect with us

English Football League

League One club given council loan to help them survive

League One club Rochdale have been given a council loan to help them survive the cancellation of football during the coronavirus crisis.

Games haven’t taken place in the EFL since March, and clubs are currently in discussions over whether to resume the season or cancel it altogether.

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

Smaller and less wealthy clubs, similarly to Rochdale, have been hit particularly hard since the lockdown rules came in, as they rely on matchday income far more than the giants of the Premier League.

The council however has stepped in to help the club – citing the importance of sustaining ‘the borough’s sporting profile and heritage’ and enabling the club to ‘continue to contribute to wider community benefits’.

They haven’t revealed how much the loan sum is worth, but it is repayable over a 12 month period, on the grounds of ‘commercial sensitivity’.

However a restricted report issued by the authority says chiefs have approved ‘an initial loan to Denehurst Park Rochdale Limited, secured on its assets and guaranteed by Rochdale Association Football Club’.

Denehurst Park are a company that runs Spotland Stadium and has the same board of directors – including the club’s chairman.

Council bosses have agreed that ‘not making the loan would potentially place one of the borough’s most significant assets at risk at this difficult time’.

They have also made provision for a further loan on similar terms, depending on ‘the speed of recovery from the current Covid-19 pandemic’.

Council leader Allen Brett said on the loan that Rochdale are ‘much more than a local business’.

He said: “As the home of professional football in Rochdale it has a significant community value, helping to promote a feeling of pride in the borough and generating work for other businesses in the local supply chain.

“The club also brings a valuable community benefit through its work ‘Dale in the Community’ and works with partners to provide football and multi-sport activities across the borough, along with the Rochdale Hornets, which will also benefit from the proposal.

“This a good example of the council helping to support a valuable community asset during a time of crisis to ensure it can continue to benefit the borough for years to come.”

The town hall bosses added that the council had ‘sought to support businesses and livelihoods as much as possible since the pandemic started to ensure that our borough can come back from this crisis stronger and better’.

He continued: “We’ve now paid out more than 85 per cent of our government allocation of business grants, the highest rate in Greater Manchester, and as of this week have already started making payments to businesses after successfully lobbying government for additional grant funding.”

Two scenarios have been put forward by the EFL, with a vote likely to take place next week.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Football League