SPORTS in England impacted by the absence of spectators, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are to benefit from a government rescue package of £300 million.

Almost half of that emergency funding is to go towards rugby union, with horse racing and football (Non-League and women's) also benefiting.

Premier League and English Football League clubs will not receive funding, and cricket has also missed out.

This is understood to be because the 'Winter Survival Package' is focused on sports which should be welcoming in spectators at the moment - which cricket would not.

Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) minister Oliver Dowden said: "Clubs are the beating hearts of their communities - this boost will help them survive this difficult winter period."

It is estimated the rescue package will consist of £250m worth of loans and £50m worth of grants.

The final amount received by each sport may ultimately differ from the amounts which have been set out initially when final decisions are made by an independent decision-making board, and supported by Sport England.

The first tranche of funding is to be distributed in the coming weeks, with the preliminary figures as follows:

  • £135m for rugby union (£44m for the Rugby Football Union; £59m for Premiership clubs; £9m for Championship clubs; £23m for clubs below Championship)
  • £40m for horse racing
  • £28m for football (£11m for National League steps 1-2; £14m for National League steps 3-6; £3m for Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship)
  • £12m for rugby league
  • £6m for motorsport
  • £5m for tennis
  • £4m for basketball
  • £4m for ice hockey
  • £4m for netball
  • £2m for badminton
  • £1m for greyhound racing