Q&A: James Anderson’s donation
Written By SPFL Trust Media Centre
We understand that football supporters will have plenty of questions following today’s announcement that James Anderson is to gift over £3m to support the game in Scotland, so our team has worked with Mr Anderson to provide a comprehensive Q&A.
How is the funding being used?
The funding is being split into two parts. The cash value of the donation is £2.5m, however Gift Aid can be claimed on this, increasing it to a total value of £3,125,000. James Anderson has agreed that:
- £2.1m will be given to clubs
- £1.025m will be for the SPFL Trust – comprised of £400,000 from the original donation and £625,000 in Gift Aid
What will the SPFL Trust use their portion of the money for?
The SPFL Trust intends to split its portion of the money, broadly speaking as follows, with further details to follow in due course:
- Build a brand-new nationwide campaign called Scottish Football United. Full details will follow, but the campaign will bring together clubs, leagues, governing bodies, public agencies and other external community organisations to create a vehicle in which Scottish football can respond to major issues or crisis, and do so at scale. Plans are being put in place to provide specific support to lower league clubs and their communities
- The £625,000 (gift aid) will be used to establish and administer a ‘restricted’ fund, the Anderson Fund. Grants from the Anderson Fund will be spent on new projects, which demonstrate a positive impact on health, attainment, or inclusion as well as any general related support during the Covid-19 crisis
What does James Anderson want in return for his donation?
Nothing, other than to support SPFL clubs and their communities.
Is this to try and benefit or influence Ann Budge’s reconstruction proposals?
No. James Anderson asked Ann to introduce him to Neil Doncaster, as they were not acquainted. Hearts have been no part of the discussions. Mr Anderson has also made it clear that his donation comes without qualification or preconditions relating to future structure or governance at the SPFL.
Are you concerned that this could be viewed as inappropriate by some if Hearts are not relegated?
James Anderson made the request to Ann Budge to be introduced to the SPFL, not the other way around. James Anderson has donated millions of pounds to dozens of sport, art, and academic organisations over many years and has a reputation that is beyond reproach. It is also worth noting that Mr Anderson has been open to every question asked of him by senior colleagues at the SPFL Trust and the SPFL during this process.
There must be some guarantees or stipulations that come with this donation, surely? What are they?
The donation James Anderson is making to the SPFL Trust comes without qualification or preconditions relating to the future structure or governance at the SPFL.
As with any grant charitable grant, the SPFL Trust will have certain standard conditions in place, but for the avoidance of doubt these specifically relate to community benefit, and have no bearing on the future structure or governance at the SPFL.
The only major condition, is that clubs may not use their grant for the provision of staff or player salaries.
Given the likely requirements to enable a return to football, this funding is expected to be able to support work in this area of focus.
- Costs associated with ensuring stadia can attain bio-secure status, enabling the resumption of football, and with it, community activity, much of which take place daily at football grounds across Scotland
- Should clubs wish to purchase a Covid-19 testing system, we would expect to see equipment being made available for use to the benefit of the club’s wider community (clubs would not be expected to cover the per head cost of tests conducted by community groups using their equipment)
What is restricted funding?
Charities organise their income into two types: restricted & unrestricted.
Restricted income is applied to a specific project and may not be used for any other purpose. Unrestricted income, may be used by the charity at its discretion, provided that any expenditure is made in accordance with the charity’s own objectives. These are lodged with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
Where does Baillie Gifford fit in?
In short, it doesn’t. James Anderson is a partner and fund manager at the firm, having worked there for 37 years, but this donation is a personal one from Mr Anderson.
How does Mr Anderson feel about now being in the Scottish football public eye?
James Anderson is a very private person. He and his family have supported dozens of organisations that they are passionate about and committed to, and they have never sought publicity or attention. They have made these contributions because they are in a fortunate position to be able to do so.
That said, Mr Anderson appreciates that a donation ‘for Scottish football’ is a different ball game. He understands that others will want to understand his motivations, which is why he is using this opportunity to explain them. He doesn’t intend to become someone who speaks regularly about Scottish football, though.
Should the bigger clubs be entitled to a share?
James Anderson wanted to create something equal for all clubs, without condition. Every club has enormous challenges right now, regardless of the size.
It is, however, up to clubs to decide if they wish to make an application for this Covid-19 Crisis Fund grant.
Clubs may decide they do not want to apply for the grant, for their own purposes, but would be welcome to do so with the objective of donating to their associated charity.
Any money that is not distributed (because club(s) choose not to apply) will be made available through a second round of funding, with details established at the time.
Further work will also continue that may provide further support to lower league clubs.
As Mr Anderson has said, he believes this is the start of a partnership.
Why does this support stop with the 42 SPFL clubs?
This particular donation is about the 42 SPFL clubs and their associated charities, who exist as part of the country’s professional league body.
Mr Anderson is considering other areas within football to support. He recognises the power of football at all levels, right across the country.
Does James Anderson have any questions over how the money will be used by each club?
No. James Anderson understands what clubs need right now, and Mr Anderson is supportive. This approach is designed to support clubs and their communities, based on needs that have been well identified.
When will the clubs receive money?
Tomorrow (11 June) clubs will be invited to register an expression of interest in applying for a grant. Subject to fulfilling criteria and completion of paperwork, the SPFL Trust hopes to begin making payments no later than Monday 21 June 2020.
Who are the other benefactors referred to in this media release?
There are other people within James Anderson’s network, but they have requested anonymity from the SPFL and SPFL Trust at this time.