Date: 6th June 2020
The latest chairman’s blog by Andrew Smith:
Two Little Words for James Anderson
I was listening to the BBC Scotland radio Saturday Sportsound last week when Ann Budge was one of the guests.
Ann spoke well about a bunch of stuff and one thing she introduced in particular had me glued to the radio.
It seems there had been an approach by a source close to her of a substantial, no strings attached, “philanthropic” cash gift to the SPFL.
Ann said this was for all SPFL clubs to help them survive the effects of the pandemic.
She had approached the SPFL on behalf of the donor.
His name, the particular amount on offer and the details of how it would get to the clubs were not available for discussion.
What was strange and bizarre to me, and the BBC team, was the SPFL reaction to Ann’s approach.
You’d think any cash gift for the members would have been grabbed with both hands while shouting out “Ya Beauty”.
That almost certainly didn’t happen.
Instead Ann said she had been asked to produce and submit a “paper”.
That reaction led to some incredulity by the BBC team and I guess many listeners like me.
However a week is a long time in SPFL politics and since then we have learned the following.
The offer is legitimate and above board.
It is substantial.
The Sun said £4.75M, other red tops quoted circa £4M and Murdoch’s Times revised it down at over £2M.
The donor’s anonymity was subsequently unmasked and announced by the press who told us he was James Anderson an Edinburgh based businessman.
We also heard he has already been a substantial donor to the Tynecastle club and in the goldfish bowl that is Scottish Football that led to the usual cynicism.
Some believed this is all part of a convoluted Hearts scheme to stay in the top league.
This was soon found to be nonsensical as events unfolded.
The current word on the terraces is that the money will be divided equally between the clubs. We’ll accept that is indeed the current plan but maybe like other things in our game we’ll never know for sure.
Ben Palmer writing in The Times said many clubs have been told that they would each equally receive circa £50K.
Not a fortune to some of the SPFL members where that means just one players wages for a month but at the bottom end a different story and a much-needed lifeline to some.
Last week very few Scottish football fans including me had heard of James Anderson.
Today I would like to say two heartfelt words on behalf of us all and the clubs we love.
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