SPFL to move quickly after 'positive' talks with millionaire Hearts benefactor James Anderson

Edinburgh investor willing to donate serious cash to help clubs

Neil Doncaster has held talks with Hearts benefactor James Anderson.
Neil Doncaster has held talks with Hearts benefactor James Anderson.

Neil Doncaster wants to move quickly after talks with millionaire Hearts benefactor James Anderson, who is offering financial help to Scottish clubs.

Scottish Professional Football League officials have spoken with the Edinburgh-based investment expert about supporting teams during the coronavirus crisis.

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Anderson is willing to make a multi-million pound donation to help clubs across the SPFL and Doncaster, the league’s chief executive, said talks were “very constructive”.

He commented: “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.”

The SPFL said in a statement: “SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster met with James Anderson via video-call this morning and had a positive initial discussion about the proposal from James to provide financial support to the 42 clubs.

“This support is intended to assist all SPFL clubs to deal with the effects of Covid-19 at this time of crisis.”

Anderson has been behind a number of philanthropic gestures to Hearts in recent years and was introduced to the SPFL by the club’s owner, Ann Budge.

Since 2000, he worked for investment firm Baillie Gifford and was in charge of their Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which now has assets of £11.3billion.

His own personal wealth is understood to run into tens of millions. He has gifted Hearts some of that as part of a group of benefactors who have donated £9m to the club since 2016.

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Who is Hearts benefactor James Anderson?
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