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Support for spectator sports

£520,000 of financial support for professional ice hockey and basketball clubs

Scotland’s professional ice hockey and basketball clubs are to receive £520,000 in financial support from the Scottish Government to help mitigate the impact of recent COVID-19 restrictions. 

The financial support is being distributed by Scotland’s national agency for sport, sportscotland. It will help cover financial losses incurred by the clubs during recent temporary public health measures, which saw a limit of 200 spectators introduced for indoor events (26 December 2021 to 23 January 2022 inclusive).  

The welcome funding boost will help all four clubs manage financial losses from scheduled fixtures over the festive period, providing much needed support at a challenging time. The following awards have been made: 

  • Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey Club: £300,000
  • Dundee Stars Ice Hockey Club: £120,000
  • Fife Flyers Ice Hockey Club: £80,000
  • Glasgow Rocks Basketball Club: £20,000

News of the funding award has been welcomed by Managing Director of Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey Club, Gareth Chalmers, who said: “It has been a very difficult period for the Clan and Braehead Arena due to the indoor attendance restrictions set out in late December.

“Once again we are delighted with the support the Scottish Government and sportscotland have shown ourselves and the two other EIHL clubs in sustaining a future for professional ice hockey in Scotland.

“Our working relationship with sportscotland continues to grow and we’re looking forward to further developing that over the coming months and years.”

General Manager of Dundee Stars, Omar Pacha, said: “We are very thankful for sportscotland and the Scottish Government for helpings us get us the appropriate funding and recognising the importance of ice hockey to not only the people in Dundee but all across Scotland.

“As a result of the restrictions it was extremely difficult for the club to operate.  Whilst there are still challenges ahead, the club is back in a stable financial position due to the financial support of the Scottish Government.” 

Glasgow Rocks owner, Duncan Smillie, added:

“The importance of the £20,000 financial support we are receiving from the Scottish Government cannot be overstated.

“It might not seem like a lot of money in comparison to other sports, however, we receive no funding from our national governing body or league, so 100% of our income is generated through our matchday operation.

sportscotland have been exceptional in their support and understanding from the very beginning of the pandemic. I can’t praise them enough for their diligence and guidance – a genuinely first-class organisation.”  

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We understand the difficult position faced by some of our professional clubs due to recent restrictions. It remains a challenging time for society and sports clubs, however, the sporting system has shown real resilience in its response, and I am sure that will continue.

“There are still plenty of challenges ahead and we will continue to work with Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport, the Scottish Government and our professional clubs, to ensure sport continues to thrive at the heart of communities.”

The funding comes from the £5 million announced for professional sport on 5 January, as part of £375 million in wider business support.  It will support up to 75% of losses incurred by professional sports impacted by restrictions.

Sports minister Maree Todd added: “This Government has pledged to provide funding to support organisations affected by the necessary measures to keep us all safe and these allocations show we are doing this.”

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