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Insights

21 October 2020

Lower League Football, COVID-19 and Beyond: The Bridge to a Sustainable Future

Sport, and football in particular, has been dramatically impacted upon as a result of COVID-19 and government measures to prevent its spread.

The 2019/20 domestic football season was suspended for months, and in some cases curtailed completely. Fans are still not permitted to go to football stadia to support their clubs, and, even if we see a much-hoped-for relaxation of restrictions, a resumption to anything like previous capacity seems a long way off. The impact has been devastating, not just socially for fans, but the financial hit for a large number of lower league clubs, without match day related revenues, is forcing stakeholders to seriously consider their financial futures.

Our sports restructuring team have seen this impact at first hand, and have identified a series of measures which we believe could significantly assist English football to protect itself whilst the present uncertainties continue, and create a ‘bridge’ to a sustainable future. Our ambition has been to develop a legally and commercially viable framework, and process, in order to facilitate the collective protective, restructuring and funding measures now urgently required to prevent many much-loved clubs from tipping into insolvent administration or liquidation.

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new paper - “The Bridge to a Sustainable Future for Football League Clubs”. This paper analyses the current state of play in English football, and contains a summary of options with regard to a transitional protection framework during the 2020/21 season for English Football League (EFL) clubs.

Download a copy of the report

We have unilaterally developed this framework in order to contribute to this vital debate for English football, and we have not been asked by any specific client to produce or publish this paper. The content of this paper is not to be regarded or relied upon as legal advice.

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