Baillie Gifford’s Anderson offers SPFL financial support

James Anderson

The SPFL said on Monday it held a “positive initial discussion” with Baillie Gifford fund manager James Anderson about his “extremely generous” offer in a personal capacity to provide financial support for Scottish professional football during the coronavirus crisis.

Anderson is the co-manager of the £10 billion Scottish Mortgage fund which is the UK’s largest investment trust.

The fund is a major shareholder in many prominent global companies including Tesla, Amazon, Tencent, Netflix and Alibaba. 

An SPFL statement said: “SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster met with James Anderson via video-call this morning and had a positive initial discussion about the proposal from James to provide financial support to the 42 clubs.

“This support is intended to assist all SPFL clubs to deal with the effects of Covid-19 at this time of crisis.”

Hearts chair Ann Budge had previously suggested a “philanthropist” was prepared to provide millions of pounds to help the Scottish game.

Anderson is part of a group who have helped Hearts in recent years.

Doncaster said: “We had a very constructive and worthwhile discussion with James and we agreed on the need to progress things as swiftly as possible.

“The offer from James is an extremely generous one and we have committed to work together to quickly iron out the details and develop a concrete proposal which could make a significant difference to our 42 clubs.”

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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.