Coronavirus: RFL receiving £16m emergency loan from government

Omnisport

The Rugby Football League (RFL) will receive a £16million cash injection from the United Kingdom government amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement of the emergency loan was made on Friday with the Super League having been suspended in March due to COVID-19.

England is also due to host the Rugby League World Cup in October and November next year.

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"Arriving at the most challenging time in our 125-year history, this is critical and invaluable support," Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said in a statement.

"For many people, particularly in the north of England, rugby league is more than a sport: our clubs are key employers and play an essential role in local economies; they are also vital social hubs where families bond and communities stand proudly together.

"This pledge by the government is indicative of the unique role Super League clubs play in those communities.

"Throughout this pandemic, Super League and the governing body, the RFL, have been united in consistently putting forward that message, and we are delighted it has been heard loud and clear at such an important time. The game is grateful that the government has backed up promises it made to the north of the England at the general election.

"Super League has had to make many difficult decisions over the past few weeks responding to the outbreak of COVID-19. Clearly those decisions were exacerbated by the absence of any clarity on what lies ahead. This news will alleviate some of those concerns and provide much-needed certainty about the future.

"Super League would like to acknowledge the tireless work of the RFL in securing such vital support. Make no mistake, a challenging period still lies ahead and public safety and the protection of our communities remains our priority.

"But, at a tough time, the game has had a good day – we can now look forward, with more confidence, while we continue to play our part in the country's recovery."

There have been more than 3.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 233,000.

The UK has seen more than 26,000 deaths and case numbers going past 171,000.

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