Several Scottish clubs will receive a financial boost after Uefa advanced the release of around £61 million in benefit payments for the provision of players for the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
The funds, which will be distributed to 676 clubs from Uefa’s 55 member associations, were due to be paid out on the completion of the Euro 2020 play-off ties.
But following the indefinite postponement of those matches, including Scotland’s semi-final against Israel at Hampden, Uefa’s executive committee has decided to pay them with immediate effect to help the financial difficulties being faced by clubs across the continent due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Payments ranging from just £2800 up to £550,000 will be lodged in clubs’ bank accounts, depending on the number of their registered players who were released to play for their countries in the European qualifiers and Nations League matches during the 2018-20 period.
Detailed lists of the amounts received by each club will not be released by Uefa until after the Euro 2020 finals which have been rescheduled for summer 2021.
But Celtic are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries in Scotland. The Premiership champions supplied a host of players to the Scotland squad, including Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Callum McGregor, along with several internationals for other European teams, including Kristoffer Ajer of Norway and the Israeli duo of Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed.
Rangers will also receive a sizeable payment. Allan McGregor played for Scotland in the Nations League before announcing his international retirement, while Ryan Jack played in three qualifiers.
Other Ibrox squad members to play for European countries during the period in question include Croatian full-back Borna Barisic, Swedish defender Filip Helander, Finnish midfielder Glen Kamara and the Northern Ireland duo of Steven Davis and Jordan Jones.
Aberdeen will cash in on defenders Scott McKenna and Mikey Devlin, who both featured for Scotland, and winger Niall McGinn who is a Northern Ireland regular.
Other Scottish clubs who will receive payments include Hearts, Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Dundee United.
“European clubs are an integral part of the success of our national team competitions,” said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.
“As a result, a share of our national team competition revenues is distributed to the clubs which release players for those matches. In these difficult times when many clubs are facing financial issues, especially with their cash flow, it was our duty to make sure that clubs receive these payments as quickly as possible.”
The decision was welcomed by Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the European Club Association and a member of the Uefa executive committee.
“This represents a much-needed liquidity injection into club finances and is a result of the ECA’s joint work with Uefa on safeguarding clubs at this time of existential threat,” said Agnelli.
“Whilst public health remains our primary concern, securing financial, legal and regulatory relief in advance of restarting football across Europe, once it is safe to do so, is of paramount importance to ECA and its members.”
A further £114 million of club benefit money will be shared between clubs who supply players who represent their countries at the Euro 2020 finals next year.
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