Scottish football nets £30m as Nicola Sturgeon outlines sport rescue package

Spectator sport in Scotland will be boosted by a £55 million coronavirus aid package – with more than half set aside for football.

Scottish football will get a £30m rescue package to help offset lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Thursday that £30m had been earmarked for the Scottish game. It is understood that loans totalling £20m will be dished out to clubs in the top flight with £10m in grants allocated to lower leagues, junior football, and the women’s game.

It remains to be decided how exactly the money will be split.

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A sum of £20m has also been set aside for Scottish rugby – £5m in loans and £15m in grants – with £2m each going to ice hockey and horse racing.

The remaining £1m will be divided among basketball, motorsport, netball and other sport.

Speaking on Thursday Ms Sturgeon said: “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 portion of their income through spectators attending events.

"We will set out a £55m package of support for various spectator sports comprising grants and loans.

"It will include £30m for Scottish football with support for all levels of the game. It should be noted top-flight English men's football has not received financial support of this kind from the UK Government.

"I can confirm that Scottish rugby will benefit from £20m and it will also include funding for basketball, netball, motor sport, horse racing and ice hockey.

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

Last month, sportscotland warned the government that around £100 million had been lost since the introduction of restrictions in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rescue package announcement follows comments made by Aberdeen chief executive Dave Cormack and echoed by SPFL chief Neil Doncaster that there had to be a plan to allow the safe return of spectators to football to avoid clubs going under.

Under current rules, a maximum of 300 fans can attend an outdoor sporting event if staged within a Tier 1 area.

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