Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield have welcomed the announcement of a £55 million funding package for spectator sports but are warning there can be no further delay in distributing the funds.

The enforced absence of spectators and loss of matchday income has hit clubs and grassroots sport in East Lothian and across Scotland incredibly hard, which is why Ministers need to act immediately to help them.

Iain Gray MSP said:  

“For more than two months now, Scottish Labour has been pressing the Scottish Government to set up a ‘Scottish Football Aid’ fund to support our national sport. So, while the new package is welcome, there must be no further delay in getting this money to parts of the game that are in real crisis.
“For some it is already too late. Clubs will lose the financial benefits that come with the annual bumper Christmas fixtures schedule, due to the ban on matchday crowds. The money must go to those in need, before the New Year, so that we can help clubs get through this period.”

Martin Whitfield said:

“Many grassroots clubs face a real struggle to survive this crisis. The loss of matchday income has forced some long-established clubs to withdraw from competitions, while others have even lived with the ongoing threat of extinction during the pandemic.  
“Ministers must act immediately to ensure that the package they have announced gets to the clubs who need it as quickly as possible to help them get through the next few months. The First Minister should also launch a timetable to allow the safe return of a very limited number of fans at matches, as has happened in the professional English football leagues.” 

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