I’ve given Ann Budge appropriate levels of criticism this year but credit where it is due, she managed to get the ‘exclusive’ that James Anderson was a potential benefactor in waiting for Scottish football. Anyone who comes up with £2m for the game is entitled to break the news in whatever way they choose.
Unlike Budge, Anderson clearly understands how important it is to cultivate support in arenas you want to influence. He is now perfectly placed to do just that. Hearts fans can only wonder how their club’s fortunes would differ if he, not Budge, fronted their financial rescue.
£50k per club is generous and welcome at every one of the 42 clubs. It is easy to suggest Celtic should take the high ground and leave their portion in the pot, but that suggestion looks different if you dig into the grubby details.
Right now Celtic’s reserves are reducing by millions each month. We don’t want to, and are unlikely to, sell anyone of value this year, pay cuts have happened – and not just for top executives. That £50k might keep a couple of people in jobs. Alternatively, if it is put to altruistic use, it should top up the support the club gives to the Foundation.
There are times to be generous to smaller clubs, but it is ludicrous to suggest that the extra £1219 they would earn if Celtic declined their portion would make any material difference. It is a stupid idea, counterproductive and of value only as a vacant gesture.
We need to get ready for 10-in-a-row and Champions League qualification. The Foundation needs to continue its work with the most needy in our community and beyond – and we still need to sell season tickets. There is not enough money to do everything we will want to do in our own back yard.