The Scottish government have announced a £55 million funding package for spectator sports that have been impacted by the loss of ticket revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sports minister Joe FitzPatrick revealed that the funding, that will comprise both grants and loans, will see £30 million delivered to Scottish football at all levels of the game, £20 million for Scottish rugby, as well as funding for basketball, netball, motorsport, horse racing and ice hockey.
The package is an addition to the £1.5 million that was provided by sportscotland as COVID Recovery Support Fund. The agency, in conjunction with the Scottish government, loosened the criteria for its £32 million annual investment for the sports sector, to protect 1,600 jobs.
“I am pleased to announce this substantial funding package, which will help to ensure those sports which have been worst affected by the loss of ticket revenue during the pandemic are able to bridge the gap in revenue until spectators are able to return safely to sports events in larger numbers," started FitzPatrick.
“While restrictions on supporters at events have been vital in stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives, there can be no doubt that they have created real hardships for many sports clubs.
"These clubs are at the heart of our communities and, without urgent financial support, the survival of some could be in question. I’m delighted that we are able to provide significantly more support than the Barnett consequential funding received from the UK Government Sports Winter Survival package.
“I recognise that for football in particular, governing bodies, clubs and, of course, supporters themselves are desperate to see fans back as soon as possible. Sport brings great enjoyment to the many people who watch and play, and we don’t want supporters to be delayed in returning to stadiums for any longer than is absolutely necessary.”
In November, the UK government announced a £300 million winter survival package for sport, of which the majority (£250 million) was made up of loans.
A full breakdown of the £55 million emergency sports fund from the Scottish government can be found below:
Scottish football: £20 million loan funding for the Scottish Premiership and £10 million in grants for all other levels outwith the Premiership – including tiers below the SPFL and women’s football
Scottish rugby: £15 million in grants and £5 million in loan funding
Basketball: £300,000 in grants
Netball: £100,000 in grants
Motorsport: £400,000 in grants
Ice hockey and ice rinks: £200,000 in grants for ice hockey and £2 million in grants for ice rinks
Horse racing: £2 million in grants
Author: Jake Wilkin