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Elgin City receive £50,000 Covid-19 cash to help efforts to make a safe return to football

By Craig Christie

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ELGIN City have successfully applied for a £50,000 share of a Covid-19 crisis fund donated by Edinburgh philanthropist James Anderson.

The SPFL Trust will soon issue £50,000 Covid-19 grant money to all 42 league clubs
The SPFL Trust will soon issue £50,000 Covid-19 grant money to all 42 league clubs

The fund was established to support clubs and their communities after Mr Anderson gifted the SPFL Trust a sum of £3,125,000 which clubs could apply to receive a slice of.

Now the charity says that all 42 SPFL clubs have successfully applied for a grant from the relief money and payments are being processed.

Clubs were able to secure the grant, provided they demonstrate support for the wider community in which they are based.

Elgin and all other clubs will receive £50,000, once paperwork has been completed, with £800,000 already distributed.

The Moray club's secretary Keiran Carty said: "We are very grateful for James Anderson’s generosity in donating monies to help all 42 SPFL clubs.

"We are a football club heavily focused on our local community. This money will go a long way in allowing us to support everyone around us and make Borough Briggs a safe place to come and watch football."

For many of the clubs, the cash will allow them to be able to plan for a return to football, which will be vital to their long-term survival.

At least 17 clubs across the SPFL have indicated they intend to purchase Covid-19 testing kit, with the intent to make access to these facilities available to the wider community.

In doing so there will, in essence, be a new network of local testing centres at grounds across Scotland.

In addition, clubs will be using facilities to support deep cleaning, the purchase of PPE equipment, signage and markers; some are looking to purchase thermal imaging temperature check equipment.

A small number of lower league clubs also plan to use some of the grant to install in-stadium broadcast systems to enable supporters to watch matches live, when the season starts, on the basis that games may be behind closed doors.

Three SPFL clubs have decided to use their funding as a donation to their partner charities. Aberdeen FC have asked for the grant to be made directly to the AFC Community Trust to support the re-opening of community and training facilities. Celtic FC will give their grant to the Celtic FC Foundation, to support their Football for Good Fund. Kilmarnock FC will pass their £50,000 to the Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust to support projects which help reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing in East Ayrshire.

The club Covid-19 Crisis Fund has a value of £2.1m and, as described, will be allocated to clubs fully in the coming days.

The other £1,025,000 is being split into two parts: Scottish Football United and the Anderson Fund.

Scottish Football United is a major new project being launched later this year with the aim of bringing together clubs, governing bodies, with national and local public agencies to create a focal point for future crisis planning and support.

The Anderson Fund will be used to fund new projects which demonstrate a positive impact on health, attainment, or inclusion as well as any general related support during the Covid-19 crisis.

SPFL Trust chief executive Nicky Reid said: "We are pleased to have confirmed in just seven days that all clubs have met the eligibility criteria to secure their grant.

“I’m really heartened by the way clubs have embraced this process. All have thought carefully about how they would use their grant, to help get operations back up and running, get stadiums bio-secure and therefore open for community engagement, again.

“As part of the commitment to transparency, all clubs will evidence to us how they use their grant, and we’ll make sure we share some of those stories of impact.”

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