Scottish Labour calls for cash for grassroots football clubs
Scottish Labour has called for a Scottish Football Aid Fund to be established to support grassroots football through the pandemic.
Over half of grassroots clubs will face financial challenges in the coming months, according to the Scottish FA.
Although there has been a staged return for teams in recent weeks, the number of players and volunteers attending sessions is lower than pre-lockdown and people have been asked not to spectate.
Labour has warned the loss of matchday revenue could be “devastating” for lower league, non-league and semi-professional clubs.
The current indicative date for the resumption of outdoor events, including football matches, is 5 October – but this could be delayed further if COVID-19 is not brought back under control.
Richard Leonard said: “Not only are many of these clubs historically the lifeblood of Scottish football in terms of producing some of the nation's greatest ever players, they are also a vital part of the social fabric of our communities.
“Our football clubs play a leading role in running foodbanks for those in need, promoting the game in deprived communities, as well as countless charity work. Yet, much of this vital work could be in peril due to the COVID pandemic.
“No one wants to see football clubs go bust, but that is exactly the danger facing our 'beautiful game' unless a generous system of grants is put in place.”
Earlier this month, the Scottish FA launched its Give for Grassroots fund to support clubs in local communities. It provided an initial £50,000 for the fund but hopes fans across Scotland will contribute.