Scottish Rugby promises ‘unprecedented’ funding allocation for club game

There is no detail at this stage on how much money is involved and on what terms it will be distributed

Mark Dodson and John Jeffrey have issued a statement on club funding. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Mark Dodson and John Jeffrey have issued a statement on club funding. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

MURRAYFIELD has responded to criticism about Scottish Rugby’s failure so far to pass on any of the £15 million grant funding it recently received from the Scottish Government to member clubs by announcing that an “unprecedented” allocation of money will be directed to the grassroots game over the next five years.

There is no detail at this stage on how much money is involved and on what terms it will be distributed.

The plan has already been unanimously approved by the Scottish Rugby Board and was presented to the Scottish Rugby Council on 15th March. It will be discussed again when the Council meet by video conference tomorrow [Wednesday] night.


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A statement issued on behalf of Scottish Rugby Chairman John Jeffrey and Chief Executive Mark Dodson said:

“Scottish Rugby has developed an substantial funding plan to help restart rugby following the pandemic.

“The plan will see unprecedented funding allocated to the grassroots game in Scotland both in the short term as we emerge from the lockdown enforced by Covid-19 and in the longer term over the next five years.

“The objective is to provide financial security for the game and fund initiatives to drive growth and participation to help rugby in Scotland continue to thrive.

“The funding plan has been unanimously approved by the Scottish Rugby Board and was first presented to the Scottish Rugby Council including the President and Vice-President, on Monday 15 March.

“The funding plan will be further discussed by the Council on Wednesday evening.

“Once agreed, funding will be made available to member clubs in line with the return to rugby timetable in the coming months and in accordance with the terms of the Scottish Government grant and loan funding.”


Clubs seek answers from Scottish Rugby over use of £15m government grant

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About David Barnes 2616 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

14 Comments

  1. This is the rugby equivalent of telling the wife….aye…ok …I blew all the wages, but don’t worry I’m going to take a massive loan and spend an unprecedented amount of money on you. ..honest…

  2. “Scottish Rugby promises ‘unprecedented’ funding allocation for club game”

    in reality

    Scottish Rugby delivers ‘unprecedented’ bullshit about the club game

  3. So what we have here basically is we will pump most of the money not directly to the club’s but fund loads of cock and ball initiatives that gets 0.1% of those who attend to join their local club.

    The rest of the funding will mainly focussing on the central belt of scotland with the borders seeing an average amount leaving nothing for any club north of Broxden Services at Perth…..

    Player participation especially in the youth game is horrendous on the North. For example Moray and Huntly have joint youth teams just so lads can play games. The club’s are 28 miles apart!

    The club game all round I feel isn’t going to recover for a long time until Dodson Jeffrey and the motley crew backing these bumbling buffoons are still in charge.

    AS ONE?? More like “ONE for One and None for everyone else”

    Dodson Out!!!!

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  4. So what we have here basically is we will pump most of the money not directly to the club’s but fund loads of cock and ball initiatives that gets 0.1% of those who attend to join their local club.

    The rest of the funding will mainly focussing on the central belt of scotland with the borders seeing an average amount leaving nothing for any club north of Broxden Services at Perth…..

    Player participation especially in the youth game is horrendous on the North. For example Moray and Huntly have joint youth teams just so lads can play games. The club’s are 28 miles apart!

    The club game all round I feel isn’t going to recover for a long time until Dodson Jeffrey and the motley crew backing these bumbling buffoons are still in charge.

    AS ONE?? More like “ONE for One and None for everyone else”

    Dodson Out!!!!

  5. The usual waffle from Dodson and his acolyte that says absolutely nothing.

    If Dodson was paid ten quid a week for his leadership it would be ten quid too much.

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  6. Shocker – cheap attempt at a slap back at President, Vice-President & Council. Sleazemeisters JJ & MD have sought to put the onus on to them – but everything is predicated on the acceptability of the plan to which they refer…. Let’s see your plan, then – Chairman & CEO!

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  7. What does unprecedented mean? It’s a great word to use when you want to emphasise the input is greater than before. It can also be used when you give an increase of £0.01.
    You can use unprecedented when inflation is 3.5% and you increase the funding by 0.5%
    I know, I know. I hear you! However, this is the Scottish Rugby top brass we are dealing with!
    PS. Is there any truth in the rumour that Dodson is moving to the European Super League? Money, Money, Money!

  8. So…the grant has gone? The clubs will get finance from a loan, by jumping through hoops. Who pays the interest? This “substantial funding plan” is neither ‘substantial’, ‘funding’ or a ‘plan.’
    As a tax payer in Scotland, I want assurances that whatever recipient of grants that the Scottish Government dish out is for the good causes that it’s intended for. Not for recruitment, plugging financial holes, bonuses or vanity projects. It needs to go to grassroots rugby, exactly where the SG determined through the conditions of the grant.

  9. And I suspect pushed to announce something as a result of being found out in the 15 million received from the government but not passed on to the clubs. Hence the vagueness and lack of fanfare.

    I’d suggest if this had been planned Dodson would have used it for maximum exposure of himself, and how brilliant he is…

  10. This is delightfully vague on any detail or firm commitment. I’m afraid JJ seems to have been as ineffective as his various predecessors despite his bullish words

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    • Agreed, it’s vague indeed, admittedly I don’t know how they operate, but I don’t quite understand how something can be ‘unanimously approved’ followed in a later sentence with ‘once agreed’: and if it was agreed on 15th March, today is the 20th of April why so long to announce the good news of a substantial [whatever that means] funding plan?
      Apart from that, IF it is a plan that has been approved why can’t they quantify ‘substantial’?
      As for the wording, it seems to me typical waffle, and certainly not the sort of conversation you would hear down at the Kelso Farmers Market discussing crop rotation, rather it is I suggest ‘Suit-Speak’ a speciality of the other signatory a language developed by Salesmen offering up a loosely related farming product namely a ‘Pig in a Poke’.

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      • It was approved by the board and is waiting for agreement from the Council. I mean it is right there in the article.

        Presumably they can’t divulge details of the plan until it is agreed by the council and published.

        I think I’ll wait for it to be actually agreed and published before criticising it. Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s rubbish but it seems odd to draw premature conclusions just because it is going through a governance process.

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      • Thank you for the clarity, however I did say at the start of my comment ” admittedly I don’t know how they operate” which allowed me I think to pose the question even if it offered up a level of my ignorance.
        However it is still a mystery as to why the information was only forthcoming following the article the previous day regarding Clubs wanting to know where the Government Grant money was and when would it be forthcoming.
        That thought also brings me to mention that you only use the word presumably regarding the disclosure of the ‘Substantial funding’ personally I can see no valid reason for any secrecy or confidentiality regarding telling the Clubs as soon as the plans were drawn up.
        Unfortunately from conduct in the past there is little if any confidence that matters dealing with finance in particular are of a clear and unambiguous nature hence premature conclusions on past form should be the default position.
        The SRU and its constituent parts are not the personal Fiefdom of individuals employed by the SRU on, I imagine behalf of the Clubs. If I have got that aspect of the administration wrong I am sure someone will enlighten me if I have made a mistake, and until the SRU management stops operating as Scottish Rugby’s answer to GCHQ along with others I will continue to ask difficult questions to difficult and elusive individuals.

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      • Nice to hear someone with a balanced opinion FF.

        I think the SRU have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic from a financial perspective pretty well to date, i will remain open minded on what happens with the money until there is more clarity.

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