'Generous' James Anderson given glowing reference by former Hearts manager

Edinburgh investor had dinner with ex-Tynecastle manager

James Anderson is in talks with the SPFL.

Edinburgh investor James Anderson today received a glowing reference from former Hearts manager Craig Levein after offering more than £2million to help Scottish football.

Levein has shared lunches and dinners with the multi-millionaire, who donated huge amounts of his own personal wealth to the Edinburgh club in recent years.

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Anderson is offering a substantial sum to help Scottish Professional Football League sides survive the coronavirus crisis, and Levein said he and wife Morag must be taken seriously.

"James and Morag came into the club way back in 2013/14, I think it was. They have been hugely helpful financially, but not just financially. They are extremely clever people and both of them are very generous people,” Levein told BBC Scotland.

"He is a quiet guy. I would quite often speak to him after matches in the boardroom and quite often we had lunch or dinner. His daughter is a big Cowdenbeath fan. Maybe some of his reasoning for helping the teams out is because of that.”

Anderson’s money would be split by the 42 SPFL clubs and Levein explained how their generosity extends beyond football.

"Part of this is about helping the smaller clubs and helping the communities. James and Morag have put a lot of money into Hearts but a lot of it has gone to social enterprises.

"A lot of things are going to the Big Hearts charity as well. I think they like helping people. As well as putting money into football clubs, it's to help the communities as well.

"The thing I found bizarre is that everybody assumed – because that's what we do in Scottish football – that there were strings attached to this offer.

“People couldn't believe somebody would give money without asking for something because that's all we seem to do in Scottish football – think about ourselves, don't worry about anybody else.

"I think that's the problem and that's why we will really struggle to get the proper reconstruction process working.

“Everybody just thinks about themselves, they think about that season and they think about how much money they've got in the bank.”

When asked if larger Premiership clubs should donate their share of Anderson’s cash to teams in lower leagues, Levein replied: “Just because a club is bigger doesn't always mean their finances are in a stronger position.

“Everybody has to work out whether they think an altruistic gesture like that would be the right thing to do. It would be a good idea, I think.”

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