Succession happens everywhere and The Scottish Football Partnership is no exception.
This week after a collective service of 53 years, James Clydesdale, Peter Donald and Fraser Wishart are demitting office both as Directors of The Scottish Football Partnership and Trustees of The Scottish Football Partnership Trust. I am deeply indebted to Peter and Fraser over the years for their insight and knowledge.
The outgoing Directors are proud of what has been achieved since devolution. From an initially slow start, The Scottish Football Partnership has invested an input equivalent of £38m in Scottish Football at all levels. Over the past two years, The Scottish Football Association, as principal funding stakeholder, indicated they would assist the professional game directly by making payments to clubs. The focus of our work has subsequently moved to helping grassroots football via The Scottish Football Partnership Trust which is operated by the SFP.
This has been challenging over covid and pressures on the economy. We are delighted to have been assisted by generous benefactors who have made a huge difference to what we have been able to deliver. A lot of our work has been done in areas of multiple deprivation to the point where we are now enjoying our third round of funding from the UEFA Foundation for Children and feature on their website. In a country where 25% of children are living in poverty, for many families it is a choice of Food, Fuel or Football. We have been trying in our own small way with the help of our benefactors and UEFA to counter that.
As an organisation we have intentionally tried to stay small, institutionally light and effective over the years in getting the maximum value of our funding out to clubs and organisations. To do this, we have relied on a wide range of service suppliers used as needed, providing an essential part in helping us deliver – so thank you. Perhaps the biggest thank you in this has to go to a small, dedicated staff totally enthused by football delivering amazing results through sustained hard work.
As outgoing Directors and Trustees, we hope we have been able to make a difference and leave the company in good shape. Looking ahead, it is for the stakeholders, The Scottish FA and sportscotland to make judgements on the way forward and with that the selection of new Directors and Trustees.
We wish them well in continuing the good work in helping Scotland’s largest sport and know that football saves lives.