Government wants money from EPL return to support 'wider football family'
Matthew Peters / Manchester United / Getty

Britain's culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, supports the Premier League's bid to return in June but suggested money earned from the restart should be spread through the English game, and matches should be made accessible for fans who are shut out of stadiums.

Dowden said Thursday's meeting with representatives from the Premier League, English Football League (EFL), and the Football Association (FA) had "progressed plans" for football's resumption in the country, according to Reuters.

"The government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June," Dowden said in a statement. "This should include widening access for fans to view live coverage and ensure finances from the game's resumption supports the wider football family."

There are 92 matches remaining in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, 45 of which are not yet scheduled for live television coverage. It's hoped these games can be shown on free-to-air television to appease supporters who are not allowed to attend fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The "wider football family," meanwhile, likely refers to EFL clubs that are struggling financially without matchday revenue, or modest sides in the non-league pyramid that had their seasons scrapped entirely by the FA.

The government is awaiting full confirmation of the Premier League's plans to safely resume the season, and for further news on how the nation deals with eased lockdown rules, before it can rubber-stamp the top flight's return. The Premier League suspended play on March 13 and aims to return on June 1 after the government said sporting events can take place without fans from that date.

The Premier League is reportedly trying to hold group training sessions starting Monday, albeit with numerous strict guidelines such as no tackling and disinfected pitches.

"There is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community, and the nation as a whole," Dowden added. "The government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support to the game ahead of any final decision which would put these plans into action."

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Government wants money from EPL return to support 'wider football family'
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