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SPFL hoping for swift progress with potential donor

The league has been made an "extremely generous" offer by Hearts benefactor James Anderson.

The Scottish Professional Football League has held “very constructive” talks over proposed financial support during the Coronavirus crisis.

James Anderson, a trust manager with Edinburgh-based investment giants Baillie Gifford, is behind a proposal to assist all 42 SPFL clubs.

The 60-year-old spoke to SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan and league chief executive Neil Doncaster on a video call on Monday morning and the parties now hope to move quickly to produce a plan that could save clubs from financial ruin due to the shutdown of the sport.

In a statement, Mr Doncaster said: “We had a very constructive and worthwhile discussion with James and we agreed on the need to progress things as swiftly as possible.

“The offer from James is an extremely generous one and we have committed to work together to quickly iron out the details and develop a concrete proposal which could make a significant difference to our 42 clubs.”

Mr Anderson is part of a group of benefactors who have been responsible for providing millions of pounds of funding to Heart of Midlothian over the past five years.

His strong relationship with Hearts owner and chairwoman Ann Budge led to the proposal to help out the broader professional game and was made public over the weekend by Mrs Budge.

However the wealthy philanthropist has denied his offer comes with any conditions regarding Hearts – with Mrs Budge currently leading a discussion paper to reconstruct the leagues and reverse the decision to relegate the Tynecasle side to the Scottish Championship.

Mr Anderson told the Daily Record: “These commitments are not dependent on league reconstruction. They are not contingent.

“They are to help in a desperate situation.”