SPFL reports positive talks over offer of financial assistance to member clubs

Scottish league officials have reported a “positive initial discussion” over an “extremely generous” offer to provide financial assistance to all 42 clubs.

Edinburgh-based investment manager James Anderson has emerged as the “philanthropist”, flagged up by Hearts owner Ann Budge, who was willing to help lower-division clubs through the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Scottish Professional Football League update suggests potential financial input could benefit all member clubs.

Neil Doncaster was encouraged by the talks
Neil Doncaster was encouraged by the talks (PA)

A statement read: “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.”

Doncaster added: “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.”

Ann Budge brought James Anderson to the SPFL
Ann Budge brought James Anderson to the SPFL (PA)

Anderson was earlier quoted in the Daily Record as saying his offer was not dependent on league reconstruction plans, which are being driven by Budge and discussed on Monday by Premiership clubs.

Anderson has been a partner of Edinburgh-based asset management firm Baillie Gifford since 1987 and is co-manager of the £9billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust as well as being a trustee of Johns Hopkins University.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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