Government to give rugby, racing and others £300m aid package – but not football

The government are reportedly set to announce a £300million aid package to provide a much-needed financial boost for sports through the winter – but football will not be included.

Several sports have been damaged financially by the coronavirus pandemic, which has prevented clubs from cashing in on matchday revenue over the past eight months.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was originally due to let fans return to sporting stadiums across the country on 1 October, only to scrap those plans when Covid-19 cases spiked again at the end of September.

And with the UK currently undergoing a second national lockdown, it remains unclear when supporters will be able to return to venues.

According to the Daily Mail, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston is poised to confirm details of a £300million aid package in parliament on Friday, having secured an undertaking from the Treasury.

Rugby union and horse racing will be two of the main beneficiaries, as they have been hit most by the continued absence of match-going fans.

But the handout, which will be made up of grants and loans, will not include professional football.

Government officials have remained adamant throughout the pandemic that football is expected to solve its own financial problems, although they are still expected to make funding available for non-league clubs in need of support.

Rugby and racing will gain the most funds, but there will also be help for a number of other sports who have been prevented from opening their venues as normal.

Gyms and other leisure venues will also be eligible for funding from the government.

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Spectator trials are also expected to be resumed once the national lockdown comes to an end on December 2.

Johnson insists the lockdown will end on that date as planned, despite fears of an extension amid the continued rise in coronavirus cases.

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