The deal between the EFL and the Premier League has finally been agreed, with a £50m grant awarded to League One and League Two.
Rob Makepeace has tweeted that the club will also receive a share of the £15m excess which will be allocated on the basis of losses through the fans not being allowed into stadiums.
Finally, the deal has come which has been discussed throughout the summer months. Without Project Big Picture, seemingly, the Premier League have agreed a £50m rescue package which doubtless will plug the gaps, but won’t cover all of the losses. however, it would be greedy to expect every penny of our losses to be covered, given the situation the world has found itself in.
I would imagine there is a degree of happiness at the club right now, especially as post-New Year was the critical point. Hopefully, the £350,000 plus whatever else we get from the grant, will ensure the club’s future. The first part of the grant is also payable immediately, to all clubs, which should stave off the threat of one going bust over the winter. In that respect, this is great news.
Let’s not praise the Premier League too much though, nor Rick Parry. This deal has been agreed too late for my liking, and only after a severe reprimanding from the government. Yes, it is a victory, but it is like winning an argument with an older sibling around sharing their sweets because your Mum intervened and told them to give you some.
How much extra can we expect for losses incurred through gate receipts? I did some rudimentary maths and worked out the collective average attendance in League One and League Two last season, These really are basic sums and are based on last season, but the collective average attendance in our division last season was 199,576, but from 23 teams In the division below, it was 110,182. That’s 309,758, which we will make into 315,000 (adding in the missing team and assuming they get around 5,000 average). This is assuming the money is split between all 48 clubs purely on a basis of their losses incurred by the absence of fans, and not by division (ie £10m for League One, £5m for League Two). If that were the case, and the money was divided up by the number of fans and not something like average ticket spend, then of the £15m, we could feasibly expect around £400,000 more.
How does that work? I divided the £15m attendance fund by the total attendance of 315,000, getting a ‘price per head’ of the missing fan, which was £47.61. If you then times that by our average attendance (8770), you arrive at £417,619. IF that were the case (and it is a big if, based on some giant leaps) then we could expect a total rescue package of just under £800,000. Okay, it is around half of the expected losses, but there is no doubt it is club-saving and assures our future.
This is good news for the club. With some supporters in grounds across the country last night too, the last 24 hours have looked very, very good for football. Who would have thought, Lincoln City coming out of the pandemic battered (of course), but second in League One and with a very bright future stretching out ahead of us.
Hopefully, I’ll see some of you in the ground on Boxing Day (maybe from my lounge, but that will be luck of the draw) to cap off a great end to a terrible year.