SPFL football ‘contributes £214m to Scots economy’

New research by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute has reported that the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) contributes £214 million to the Scottish economy every year and supports 5,700 jobs.

The research was commissioned by the SPFL to examine the contribution of the league to the Scottish economy.

The independent analysis was carried out on the 2017-18 season and shows that SPFL clubs’ activities, plus all spending by spectators at SPFL matches, contributed a gross figure of £444 million to Scotland’s GDP and helped to support around 9,300 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

The report said that “adjusting for the impact of spending which is not additional to the Scottish economy” the net contribution was £214 million, helping to support around 5,700 FTE jobs.

The research examined the contribution of the SPFL to the Scottish economy through two channels — the economic footprint of the SPFL clubs themselves and the economic boost from fans attending matches in the SPFL’s League and Cup competitions.

The analysis showed that:

In the course of the 2017-18 season, the turnover of SPFL clubs was £223 million and they directly employed around 2,770 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.

SPFL CEO 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.

“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.”

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said: “We were delighted to be asked by the SPFL to assess the contribution of Scottish football’s professional leagues to the Scottish economy.

“Based upon information provided to us by the clubs regarding their income patterns, together with the findings of a survey of fans across Scotland, we found that during the 2017-18 season, the activities of SPFL matches and SPFL clubs contributed £214 million to Gross Domestic Product in Scotland, and supported 5,700 jobs.

“These figures are on a ‘net’ basis and are adjusted for the impact of spending which is not additional to the Scottish economy.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.