April 23 (Reuters) - UEFA has released nearly 70 million euros ($75 million) of compensation payments to clubs ahead of schedule to help deal with the impact of soccer’s COVID-19 related stoppage.
European soccer’s governing body pays clubs who have contributed players to national teams during the qualification process for the European Championships.
The payment was due to be made after the completion of the qualification playoffs.
These were originally scheduled for March, but were postponed due to the spread of the virus, but the governing body has moved to ensure the cash is sent to clubs.
Fifty million euros will go to clubs who released players for the 39 national teams not involved in the playoffs with 17.7 million going to those clubs who provided players during the group phase to the 16 teams who have made the playoffs.
A further 2.7 million will sent later upon completion of those games.
“In these difficult times when many clubs are facing financial issues, especially with their cash flow, it was our duty to make sure that clubs receive these payments as quickly as possible,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Club Association (ECA) said: “This represents a much-needed liquidity injection into club finances and is a result of ECA’s joint work with UEFA on safeguarding clubs at this time of existential threat.”
$1 = 0.9273 euros Reporting by Simon Evans Editing by Toby Davis