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£55m lifeline

Funding package boost for Scottish sport

No fans: Scottish football has been struggling (pic: SNS Group)

The Scottish government has announced a £55m funding package to help ease the financial strain on spectator sports in Scotland severely affected by Covid-19.

Scottish football will receive £30m, with £20m having been earmarked for rugby union. Horse racing and ice rinks will get grants of £2m each with the remaining £1m divided among basketball (£300,000), motorsports (£400,000), netball (£100,000) and other sports.

In a much-needed boost for top-flight football clubs, the 12 Premiership outfits will receive £20m in loans, with £10m taking the form of grants for clubs in the lower leagues.

The £20m for rugby will be £5m in loans, with grants comprising £15m.

The rescue package comes after sportscotland told Holyrood that the sector has lost £100m since March.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I can confirm that the Scottish Government will set out a £55 million package of support for various spectator sports.

“This will comprise a combination of grants and loans. It will include £30m for Scottish football, with support for all levels of the game.  It should be noted that top-flight English men’s football has not received financial support of this kind from the UK Government.

“We know the devastating impact the pandemic has had on spectator sports across the country, particularly when so many of Scotland’s sporting clubs receive a significant proportion of their income through spectators attending events.

“This vital funding will enable us to protect & support our sport given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 right across the game and in particular our current inability to host spectators.” – Scottish Rugby

“That support package taken in its entirety will be well in excess of the Barnett consequentials announced as a result of the investment announced last month by the UK Government.”

Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said: “This announcement is very welcome as the funding will help protect the immediate future of many clubs over the coming months.

“We will continue to work with a range of Scottish governing bodies of sport and the Scottish Government to prioritise this funding to ensure the survival of the sports at the heart of our communities.”

Scottish Rugby took to Twitter to acknowledge the funding lifeline, saying: “We are delighted to receive this important level of support for rugby at this critical time from @scotgov which recognises the importance of our game to Scotland.

“This vital funding will enable us to protect & support our sport given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 right across the game and in particular our current inability to host spectators.”



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