You asked why the Scottish Government lent funding to Rangers Football Club.
The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for all sectors, including Scottish sport. Restrictions on supporters attending events were put in place in March 2020, causing severe financial problems across a number of high profile sports. Sports clubs across the country are at the heart of communities and, without urgent financial support, many may not have survived. Football in particular in Scotland is extremely dependent on supporter income, with the highest per capita attendance in Europe with gate receipts accounting for 43% of revenue – almost three times higher than the European average.
The Scottish Government launched the Emergency Scottish sport rescue fund which focussed on ensuring sustainability and survival in the short to medium term across all sports. Football was awarded £30m which was utilised to cover the entire Scottish Professional Football League structure and to support women’s football.
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.
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.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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