On Friday First Minister, Alex Salmond, announced £1.7 million sponsorship for the 2012-13 season of the Scottish Communities League Cup – as he made the draw for the first round of the cup at Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Park.
The sponsorship funding will go towards getting more young people involved in sport and helping football league clubs become community sports hubs.
And yes, there is a painful irony below this, in the light of the current upheavals in the SFA.
Part of the finding announced by the First Minister is to cone directly from the government’s recovery of the profits of crime, with the Cashback for Communities scheme.
Argyll Highlands and Islands MSP, Mike Mackenzie has welcomed the renewal of state financial support for football at this level, saying: ‘It is fantastic that £500,000 of the sponsorship money is coming from the Cashback for Communities programme, where criminal gains are seized back from gangs and the cash put towards projects and clubs in communities for the benefit of young people.
‘Cashback for Communities has already provided more than £12.5 million for football in Scotland and this extra money today is a clear sign of how highly The Scottish Government value the community work football clubs do.
‘The sponsorship will make it more accessible for young people to get involved in sport and physical activity and help install attributes of teamwork and respect into their outlook.
‘The Scottish Football League and the clubs carry out a great deal of valuable work in communities up and down the country so I look forward to seeing how the money will be used towards supporting communities and clubs across Scotland.
‘There have been some well-publicised issues in Scottish football recently so it’s great to have some news that only has positives for everyone that loves the game.’