Publication - FOI/EIR release

Details of Premiership Division Support Fund for Scottish football clubs 2021: FOI release

Published: 23 Jun 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
23 Jun 2021
Details of Premiership Division Support Fund for Scottish football clubs 2021: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100213841
Date received: 15 Jun 2021
Date responded: 22 Jun 2021
Information requested

Information relating to a loan from the Scottish Government via the Scottish FA to Rangers Football Club. In particular, you asked:

1. Who decided the allocation amounts?

2. It looks as if one club decided not to take a loan and if so what club?

3. If/when that club decided not to take a loan who made the decision how that money would be allocated and why was it allocated in the way it was?

4. Did anyone consider asking for the return of that sum circa £1.6m to the Scottish tax payer?

5. Did anyone consider offering the excess to the Scottish Championship clubs?

6. Who decided the loan would be over 20 years and interest free?

Response

The Scottish Government agreed in February 2021 to provide The Rangers Football Club Limited with a credit facility of £1.818 million. This was funded from the initial £20 million Premiership Division Support Fund, part of the £55 million emergency sports funding package put in place by the Scottish Government to tackle lost ticket revenue during the pandemic.

The Scottish Government increased the Premiership Division Support Fund by £5 million in March 2021 and the Rangers Football Club Limited’s credit facility was subsequently increased to £3.2 million.

The Premiership Division Support Fund was initially allocated on the basis that no applicant could receive more than the estimated total amount of income it would have lost and the additional expenditure it would have incurred by the end of season 2020/21 as a result of compliance with Covid-19 public health rules. The Scottish Government took into consideration lost income and additional costs relating to season 2019/20 as well as season 2020/21 in assessing applications. The initial £20 million was allocated on the basis that no club would initially receive more than £20 million divided by the number of applicants.

Eleven football clubs applied for Scottish Government loan funding. Celtic Football Club did not apply. As Scottish Premiership clubs operate on different scales, their losses and additional costs as result of Covid-19 public health rules varied. As a result, seven applicants were offered credit facilities of £1.818 million (£20 million divided by 11). The other four applicants were provided with credit facilities for smaller amounts – their credit facilities were capped at the amount of their losses and additional costs as a result of Covid-19 public health rules. This approach resulted in around £1.4 million of the initial £20 million fund remaining unallocated.

Having assessed the scale of losses and additional costs to Scottish Premiership football clubs, the Scottish Government increased the Premiership Division Support Fund by around £5 million in March 2021 and increased the credit facilities of seven applicants. Again, the applicants’ credit facilities were capped at the amount of their losses and additional costs as a result of Covid-19 public health rules during seasons 19/20 and 20/21.

The Scottish Government provided non-repayable grants of £500,000 to each Scottish Championship club. The Scottish Government did not consider providing loan funding from the Premiership Division Support Fund to Scottish Championship clubs having assessed the scale of the losses and additional costs resulting from Covid-19 public health rules to those Scottish Premiership clubs which applied for support.

The Scottish Government decided that the loans would be interest free and repayable over a period of 20 years beginning in September 2022. The Scottish Government provided credit facilities to Scottish Premiership football clubs on the same terms and conditions. The terms and conditions were communicated to all potential applicants.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG