A €70m fund to help sporting bodies left with massive financial black holes due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be allocated next month.

In June, the Government announced the fund which will be split four ways. The main three field sports the FAI, GAA and IRFU will share €40m.

A €10m resilience fund will support the National Governing Bodies of Sports.

Sports clubs will access a €15m fund, while up to €5m will be allocated for the Sports Restart and Renewal Fund.

Speaking at the Dáil's Special Committee on Covid-19 Response, CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy said they have received a high number of applications for the fund, including from 39 of the national governing bodies.

He said they were particularly aware of the challenges facing sports that are primarily indoor based and most active during the winter with losses of income from events and memberships.

Earlier, the leaders of the GAA, IRFU and the FAI warned of tens of millions of Euros of losses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Detailing the ongoing financial difficulties, GAA Director General Tom Ryan described the "stark" financial difficulties the association faces, with a €50m hole in finances this year and further losses next year expected to be at least €20m.

Echoing that sentiment, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne warned the "very existence of professional rugby would be under significant threat in 2021".

Mr Browne told politicians the problem is a lack of spectators at grounds.

He said if the Aviva Stadium was allowed to have fans at one-metre distance it would mean 18,000 capacity, which he said would help the financial issues but not solve them.

Interim FAI Chief Executive Gary Owens said they continue to plan for a safe return for fans.

He said all three associations are working together to put a formal proposition to the Government for fans to be allowed into grounds.

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Officials from the department that has responsibility for sport told the committee that work has started about getting a plan in place to allow larger crowds into stadium. 

John Kelly, Acting Assistant Secretary at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said: "It's not just how large it is, it has to do with the entries and exits and it's going to take a bit of time." 

He said the department is under no illusion the €70m package will be enough for the future and that they will continue to engage with all the sporting bodies through Sport Ireland to get a sense of what they require for next year. 

Mr Kelly said they are not depending on spectators to fill the financial black hole and that there is a reality the sports sector will need to be further supported. 

Currently, with the country at Level 2 of the Government’s plan for living with Covid-19, 200 people are allowed to attend sporting events where the capacity of a stadium is over 5,000. 

The plan says 100 spectators are allowed at venues that to not meet that criteria. 

Although Dublin has not been allowed to have crowds of 200 under that level due to the high level of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. 

Under level 3, matches would have to take place behind closed doors so no spectators will be allowed.