ADDITIONAL financial support for rugby league has been welcomed by one Warrington MP.

This follows an announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport stating that the RFL will receive a £12 million loan to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The loan is a top-up of the existing £16 million loan made to the RFL earlier in the year, and is part of a £300 million financial package for major spectator sports to protect their immediate futures.

Clubs have been told to brace themselves for having no spectators at matches until the spring due to the risk still posed by Covid-19.

Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols has thrown her backing behind the funding and says that she will not hesitate to push for further loans in the future should there be a real need for them.

In a statement, 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.

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“While we do not know what next year has in store, fans will be reassured that these centrepieces 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.”

And Warrington South MP Andy Carter says he will be pushing to get fans back after what has been a tough year for the sport.

He 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 a criteria for getting spectators back in stadiums.

He added: “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.”