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Financial rescue package requested to help Scottish football

Urgent discussions with UK government have been sought after the return of fans was pushed back.

Financial rescue package requested to help Scottish football SNS

Scotland’s minister for sport, Joe Fitzpatrick, has written to his counterpart in Westminster requesting an urgent meeting to discuss a financial rescue package for struggling football clubs.

It follows the news that fans cannot return to stadia for the foreseeable future, which has caused concern among clubs at all levels of the game.

A phased return from October 5 had been scheduled but was postponed as government announced a range of measure to tackle a rise in coronavirus cases.

That move prompted discussions between the Scottish government and the Scottish FA and SPFL’s Joint Response Group and Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick MSP, has written to the UK Minister for Sport seeking urgent discussions regarding a package of financial recovery for sport, accessible to Scotland.

Scottish football generates 43% of all revenue from gate receipts and supporters have been absent from ground since March. The football authorities have warned that if clubs were to be without normal matchday income for the majority of the season then the results would be “catastrophic”.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President and chair of the JRG, said: “We understand the challenges and decisions facing the Scottish Government and society as a whole and Scottish football will continue to play its part in helping the country overcome the pandemic.

“It is also incumbent on us to safeguard the futures of our football clubs, whilst at the same time respecting and adhering to public health guidelines. We welcome the correspondence from Scottish Government to the UK Minister for Sport and Civil Society and hope for a positive outcome for the
national game and Scottish sport as whole.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are engaging with the Scottish Government to underline the existential threat to many of our clubs, and to the huge community, economic and sporting benefits they deliver, if this grave situation continues without meaningful public financial support. We therefore welcome the intervention of the Scottish Government in seeking urgent discussions with the UK Government about a package of financial recovery for Scottish sport.”