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Scotland’s league clubs awarded £50,000 grants following donation by Anderson

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All 42 of Scotland’s league clubs have been awarded £50,000 grants following the donation made by philanthropist James Anderson.

Aberdeen, Celtic and Kilmarnock will hand their allocations to their charity wings while all other clubs successfully demonstrated how their wider communities would benefit from the money.

Edinburgh-based investment manager Anderson offered the Scottish Professional Football League £2.5million, with a further £625,000 due from gift aid in relation to the donation, to help steer clubs through the pandemic.

At least 17 clubs will use the funding to buy Covid-19 testing kit, which can be made available for the wider community.

Some clubs, including Livingston, Hearts and Dunfermline, are using the cash to support deep-cleaning at their grounds and training facilities, and to buy personal protection equipment and temperature check units. Other lower-league clubs are installing broadcast equipment to allow fans to watch games that take place behind closed doors.

Aberdeen will give their subsidy to the AFC Community Trust to help reopen community and training facilities, while the Celtic FC Foundation will add their money to the Football for Good Fund which has supported a number of charity initiatives.

The Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust will use their £50,000 for projects which help reduce social isolation and improve health and well-being in East Ayrshire.

Hamilton have earmarked their funding for their youth development and community initiatives.

Owner Ronnie MacDonald said: “It is well documented that the current youth development and academy structures are struggling financially, however we at Hamilton are totally committed to maintaining and indeed improving our youth development programmes.

“When government guidelines dictate we will be returning to full training, playing and education programmes. Our existing excellent academy staff will be kept in place and no cuts will be made to their numbers.”

Stranraer vice-chairman Shaun Niven said: “We face unique and uncertain times. However, what is certain is that most of us are keen to get back to normal as soon as possible and that means being able to stage live football.

“At Stranraer FC this would have been almost impossible without the generous grant funding received. We can now look forward to seeing both SPFL action and community involvement again at Stair Park.”

Brechin chairman Ken Ferguson added: “Upon hearing the announcement of such a generous donation from Mr Anderson, everyone at Brechin City FC was mightily relieved to receive such a magnificent lifeline at a time when the consequences of the pandemic have thrown the very future of the club into doubt.

“Mr Anderson’s intervention will go a long way to ensuring the club remains at the heart of our community during these most difficult of times.”

Partick Thistle chief executive Gerry Britton described the donation as a “genuine lifeline for many” clubs.

He said: “For Thistle, we plan to use the grant fund to enable all those who use the stadium to be able to do so in a safe and secure environment.

“It will assist in providing Covid-19 testing for players and staff, and the purchase of PPE, assist in the disinfection of the stadium, help install Covid-19 protection systems and ensure critical catering equipment is fit for use.

“As a club we are committed to being able to return to play football matches as soon as that is possible – this grant will provide invaluable additional financial support to help ensure that can happen.”

The remainder of Anderson’s cash present will be split into two new funds, one to help with future crisis planning and support, and the other to launch new community projects.