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Premiership clubs in financial crisis ahead of January payroll

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Premiership clubs have still not received a penny from the £20m loan facility set up by the Scottish Government to help them through the pandemic.

Top flight clubs are angry that Rugby clubs and football teams in the three lower divisions were given grants while they have been offered loans with interest applied.

Part time clubs Alloa and Arbroath are quids in with a £500,000 windfall while St Mirren, St Johnstone and others in the Premiership come to terms with the likelihood that no matchday or hospitality income is likely this season.

Going back to supporters again in the spring on the back of a virtual Season Ticket won’t be such an easy sell with the second half of the season also traditionally a time for belt tightening.

Keith Jackson of the Daily Record has been on top of the struggles between the football authorities and the Scottish Government, today he reports:

Scotland’s cash strapped top flight clubs will hold urgent talks next week after not yet receiving a single penny of the government’s proposed £20m Pandemic bailout.

Record Sport understands the game’s increasingly rocky relationship with Holyrood is set to deteriorate further as the financial strain on the top 12 nears a point of crisis ahead of the January payrolls.

One Premiership chief told us last night that ‘anger and frustration’ is boiling over among the clubs and described the government’s proposed rescue package as a ‘shambles’.

Later on, getting to the heart of the matter some more details are revealed.

The SFA and SPFL are effectively private member associations where members are secretive about their funding and how they go about business.

Last year the club from Ibrox delayed payment on a £9.7m bill to HMRC in order to fund a spending spree to benefit two clubs in Belgium and one in Switzerland.

With their limited funding it would be an outrage for the Scottish Government to bail out football clubs ahead of hundreds of far more worthwhile issues across the country.

With temperatures rising one club powerbroker told us last night: “We have been asking for clarity but the government has not provided any of it. Four weeks on we’ve not even been told how to apply for these loans, never mind actually receive any of the money.

“There is a feeling that the Premiership clubs are being treated unfairly. Given that the Scottish government has been given around £8 billion worth of emergency coronavirus assistance from the Treasury in London, £20m is hardly even a drop in the ocean.

“A £20m grant could have saved Scottish football by releasing pressure on the Premiership clubs who have been paying a small fortune to have our players and coaching staff tested throughout this pandemic.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross was given nine Glasgow weekend fixtures between August and December by the SFA paying a match fee of £450 for 90 minutes plus generous expenses from his homes in Elgin and London.

In his only newspaper interview of 2020 Peter Lawwell told Jackson in June of his hopes to host a test event at Celtic Park before the start of the SPFL season.

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