The Premier League is to give away £25m of its own money to the Premier League clubs and its supporters in a bid to boost their support.
The announcement, made to shareholders in a resolution adopted at a special meeting on Wednesday, comes after a week of speculation about the future of the Premier Leagues governing body and the Premier Division, where the top two clubs in the league will share the spoils of any championship and other cash prizes.
The Premier League confirmed on Wednesday it had paid out £250 million to Premier League teams and their sponsors since 2010.
A spokesperson said the funding was part of a package of £1.3bn it has handed over to the top four clubs in its three-year-old division, with another £1bn being planned for the next three years.
It was not immediately clear whether the funds were to go to Premier Leaguers and their fans or to support other Premier League players and staff.
“These funds are a contribution to support the Premier Clubs’ ambitions for growth and to ensure the clubs continue to thrive in a competitive environment,” a Premier League spokesperson said.
In the resolution, the Premier league board said it would work with the Premier clubs to ensure that the money would go towards player and staff training, matchday travel and other benefits for the Premier and Division winners.
The Premier league is the second biggest football league in the world after the English Football League and has a £12bn television deal with Sky and a further £6.4bn from the BBC, who also hold a broadcasting licence.
The league is also seeking funding to improve its stadium facilities, and also for “revenue sharing” to ensure clubs continue competing at the highest level.
There are now six Premier League sides in the top flight, with the other four relegated.
The League One side Bristol City, who are currently relegated from the Premier Championship, were among the clubs to sign up to the funding package.
“We have been clear that we will be working closely with the League and with the clubs, who have expressed a strong desire to continue to support our Premier League and to help grow the Premier divisions,” said Bristol City’s owner, Steve Coates, in a statement.
“It is important that we continue to work closely with them to help ensure we are delivering on the plans outlined in the resolution.”
The Premier division is expected to be handed back to the League One club Bristol City.
The clubs were asked for their views on the funding.
The club’s board said: “We have received no formal response from the league regarding this funding.
We are grateful for the discussions that we have had and we remain committed to supporting the Premier division.””
We understand the importance of the clubs having access to this money.
However, we are keen to continue our work with Bristol City to ensure we have the best possible stadium facilities.”
The board said that in addition to the financial contribution, it would “provide a further funding commitment of £500,000 over three years to support Premier League development and the development of its player and supporter infrastructure”.
The funding would come in the form of a loan, a fixed-term contract, or a fixed period of time, it added.
It said the Premier football league had a “huge” fan base and had “a long-term plan” to increase its revenue.
“These funding commitments are in line with the club’s ambitions to grow our membership and continue to build on our success, with a focus on providing better facilities and support for the club and its players,” it said.
“This funding will be a key component in this plan.”