Benefactor pledges more than £3m to Scottish football clubs

Philanthropist James Anderson is donating over £3m to Scottish football.

Benefactor James Anderson has donated more than £3m to help Scottish clubs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs can now receive a £50,000 grant from a Covid-19 crisis fund if they are able to provide evidence of community benefit.

Anderson, a fund manager and partner with Baillie Gifford, agreed to the deal with the SPFL Trust that will see him pledge £3.125 million, inclusive of gift aid.

The Edinburgh-based philanthropist, who has provided Hearts with financial backing over the last six years, has also committed to future investment in the Scottish game.

James Anderson said: “Football is at the heart of communities across Scotland.

“When Covid-19 struck, I realised what a significant loss it would be for towns across the country if their local SPFL club’s very survival was threatened.

“I’ve seen first-hand over the last few years what a difference clubs can make to people’s lives, and so I am very pleased to have been able to offer my support at this difficult time.

“I’m also committing my ongoing support to Scottish football by way of confirming I will make further donations.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster added: “This extremely generous donation from James will help protect all of our clubs from the very worst effects of Covid-19, enabling them to return to playing as early as it’s safe to do so, whilst continuing to reach out and support communities as they have done throughout the pandemic.

“On behalf of every one of the SPFL’s 42 clubs, I want to sincerely thank James for his timely and extremely generous financial support at this critical moment.”

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