The SPFL have published academic research that shows Scottish football’s major contribution to the country’s economy.

The University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute carried out research, commissioned by the SPFL, to look at the 2017/18 and the contribution it made to Scotland’s economy.

That showed that football’s net contribution was £214m to Scotland’s GDP, helping to support around 5,700 full-time equivalent jobs.

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In the course of the 2017/18 season, the turnover of SPFL clubs was £223m and they directly employed around 2770 people.

In the 2017/18 season, there were 4,871,000 attendances at SPFL league and cup matches, with the majority of these in the Premiership.

As quoted by the SPFL website, chief exec Neil Doncaster said: “As well as playing an extremely important role in the social and cultural life of Scotland, this new research underlines the very significant economic contribution which SPFL clubs and their hundreds of thousands of fans make to the Scottish economy.

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“The Fraser of Allander Institute is a world-renowned, and highly-respected, institution.

“At a time when vital decisions will be made by Government about when we can resume matches, we’re sure these findings will make an important contribution to the decision-making process.

“Aside from the crucial importance of the game to the mental wellbeing and sense of community in Scotland, the Fraser of Allander study demonstrates the vital economic importance to the country of matches resuming as soon as it is safe to do so.”

This all appears part of the attempt to justify Scottish football’s importance to society as the realities of the ongoing public health crisis take hold.

When will football return to Celtic Park?

When will football return to Celtic Park? / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While football is ultimately a frivolous pursuit in comparison to life and death situations, it’s still clearly a massive part of society and should be protected as much as possible by both the Scottish and Westminster Governments.

Public health is always going to come first and rightly so but there will come a time when football needs real support to navigate through upcoming stormy waters.

The message from the SPFL is loud and clear.

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