State aid: Commission approves €10 million Slovak scheme to support professional sport clubs affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Slovak scheme, with a total budget of €10 million, to support professional sport clubs participating in leagues in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants and will be open to eligible clubs that have experienced a significant revenue decline due to the coronavirus outbreak and to the measures that the Slovak government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The scheme aims to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Slovak scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case numbers SA.64148 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.