WARRINGTON South MP Andy Carter has welcomed a further £12m support for Rugby League as part of a ‘Survival Package’ from the Government to help aid the sport during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financial boost is a second loan the sport has received since the pandemic, having become the first sport to receive a loan from the government earlier in the year to the tune of £16 million.
It is part of £300 million support package issued by the government, which has seen rugby union receive £135 million.
Mr Carter says Rugby League clubs like Warrington Wolves have worked really hard to complete Challenge Cup and Super League competitions – but have been playing most of the season without being able to have crowds in the grounds, which has been a massive strain.
Meanwhile next year, 2021, is a huge year for Rugby League with three World Cups – men’s, women’s and wheelchair – a major international event coming to England and mostly the north of England, which can be a huge part of the national recovery post-Covid.
Mr Carter has welcomed the funding and has called on the sports Minister to look at what further provisions could be made ahead of next year’s World Cup. The MP for Warrington South has also called on the Government to set out criteria for getting spectators back in stadiums.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Carter said: “This further £12m of funding for Rugby League is most welcome, it shows that the Government recognises the importance of the sport and its social impact in our communities.
“Clubs like Warrington Wolves don’t just put on great performances for us to watch, they make up a big part of the social fabric of our Town, supporting local charities and engaging with people young and old, even during the pandemic.
“I’ll continue to push Ministers to set out a criteria for getting spectators back into the grounds. The immediate financial support will go a long way, but we also need to look ahead to the World Cup next year and how we can welcome fans back into the stands.”
Meanwhile Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols also welcomed the government’s announcement of £12 million in additional loans to support Rugby League.
She said: “This money is very welcome and will come as a relief to clubs like Warrington Wolves who are looking to survive in the most difficult of financial circumstances. I have been constantly in the ear of the Sports Minister about this and I am pleased that he has listened. While we don’t know what next year has in store, fans will be reassured that these centerpieces of our communities must not be allowed to fold. If there is need for more money in 2021, not least to support the World Cup, I will be making the case to Ministers again – after all, they have found £135 million for rugby union!”