Report: Clubs not happy with Scottish Government just days after Nicola Sturgeon slams Celtic

By David Walton

January 7, 2021

SPFL clubs are said to be fuming with the Scottish Government just two days after Nicola Sturgeon slammed Celtic, the Daily Record reports.

The newspaper states that clubs aren’t happy with the lack of clarity on how to access emergency funds. This comes after the government announced last month that £55m had been set aside for Scottish sport. £20m of that was ring-fenced for Premiership clubs, whilst £10m is to be made available for lower league clubs.

For Premiership clubs, loans of £1.7m are to be made available. However, only on the terms that it’s paid back with interest charges. The Record reports that top-flight clubs feel they have been singled out.

But nearly a month after the announcement, the funds still haven’t been released. With supporters still locked out of stadiums, clubs are growing extremely frustrated with how long the process is taking.

As quoted by the Record, one Premiership club official said: “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.

“But not only are they demanding that we pay the money back – and with interest – but they are also dragging their feet over the distribution. We need answers and we need them yesterday.

Scottish government must show football more respect; Celtic included

The source reports that all 42 clubs are scheduled for a virtual general meeting next week.

Another club source told the Record: “It’s as if no-one at Holyrood really understands just how urgent the situation is for top flight football in this country. Or no-one cares.”

Sturgeon appears to be too busy wearing her disdain as a badge of honour. A £200m industry being looked at as an inconvenience by the government. It comes across as opportunistic to have a pop at Celtic being in Dubai in order to impress the public. Especially when they’re happy to let clubs cripple financially with no sense of urgency in helping them.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon / (Photo by JEFF J MITCHELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps the Scottish Gov should be trying to work with their nation’s clubs more closely instead of lambasting them on TV. It’s no wonder relationships between the government and football appear so strained. There’s barely been any clarity for clubs on how they’re to be helped.

Football deserves to be looked upon as more than just a side-show. It’s a massive industry and a huge contributor to the Scottish economy. Sturgeon and her cabinet should remember that before they hang certain clubs out to dry in the future.

Hopefully, this is an issue that gets sorted immediately. Fans are continuing to be locked out of stadiums. Certain clubs will need some vital income now.

In other news, Celtic should bring back this Rodgers signing who remains 18 goals off his target.