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Brazilian Football Confederation launches R$115m credit line for clubs

Ederson of Cruzeiro and Marcos Rocha of Palmeiras battle for the ball during a 2019 Serie A match (by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has opened up a credit line worth up to R$115m (€21.2m/$23.8m) for clubs in its top two divisions as the domestic game continues to grapple with how it can start its 2020 season amid Covid-19.

For the 20 Série A clubs, the CBF will grant up to R$100m, split equally and applied with zero interest. The funds will be granted on the basis they are guaranteed through the revenue clubs are due for broadcast rights and performance awards in the competitions they compete in.

The advance is designed as a means to compensate part of the loss of revenue that the clubs have suffered with the reduction of the amounts paid for broadcast rights in the quarter from April to June, in addition to other sources of revenue such as ticket sales, fan membership programmes and sponsorship deals.

In April, Brazilian commercial broadcaster Globo secured the votes from Campeonato Brasileiro Sèrie A clubs required to reduce its fees for April, May, and June due to Covid-19’s effect in delaying the start of the domestic season.

The clubs suffered a 60-per-cent reduction in their free-to-air rights fees in April, with the reduction increasing to 70 per cent for the May and June instalments. The 2020 Série A season was scheduled to start on May 3, but the CBF has yet to make a decision over when, or if, the campaign can take place.

CBF president Rogério Caboclo said: “CBF knows that clubs are the base of the entire football industry and that they have suffered great impacts with the stoppage of competitions caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

“Therefore, we have been looking at all ways to support clubs in this difficult time. It is not enough for competitions to return. We need clubs capable of competently returning to them.”

Sèrie B clubs will receive a total advance payment of approximately R$15m, based on the amounts they are due to receive through their rights contract with Globo. As with Sèrie A, this advance will be made at zero interest. The CBF has already made another advance payment of broadcast rights income to Sèrie B clubs of R$11.4m.

In April, the CBF allocated R$19m as a donation to the clubs that compete in Sèrie C and D, and Sèrie A1 and A2 of the Campeonato Brasileiro Feminino. This action benefited 140 clubs. In addition, the CBF allocated R$3.2m to help state federations, which is also non-refundable.

Incorporating credit lines, advances, donations and exemptions, the CBF’s support to the Brazilian football community has now reached almost R$155m. Caboclo said the governing body is continuing to work on plans to stage the competitions it has scheduled in 2020.

He added: “With unity and responsibility, we will overcome this crisis and our football will emerge even stronger. I am convinced that national competitions will be concluded with absolute success.”