The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and the Scottish Football Association have agreed to donate £22,500 between them during 2019 to Sports Chaplaincy UK to offer professional football clubs chaplaincy support in conjunction with the SPFL Trust.
The SPFL will donate £12,500 whilst the Scottish FA will also contribute £10,000, taking the total funding pot to £22,500.
Currently, 40 senior clubs in Scotland have a chaplain in place, offering ongoing support to a variety of industry-relevant issues such as mental health awareness, gambling addiction, stress management and bereavement awareness support.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “Chaplains are playing an increasingly important role at football clubs around Scotland and so we are pleased to be able to make a contribution to a very worthy cause.
“The charity provides a range of vital services to the people working at our clubs, such as support for mental health and gambling addiction.
“Together with our colleagues at the Scottish FA, we hope this donation will help them to continue their great work.”
Another great group of people involved in Scottish football (plus a guest from the English FA) completing the NHS Scotland mental health first aid course with a football flavour ⚽❤. As ever, thank you to @CMFoundation_ and @SPFLTrust for making it happen! pic.twitter.com/0TeQxItQG0— Mark Fleming (@MarkFlemingPMHS) February 8, 2019
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “Providing support to the players across Scotland in such crucial areas as mental health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to the Scottish FA, so we are delighted to make this donation to help facilitate this vital service.
“The football community is a powerful tool within our society, one which can make a significant positive difference to the lives of men and women nationwide.
“The work of organisations like Sports Chaplaincy UK in supporting players through whatever challenges they may face is not only to be commended, but celebrated, and we believe this donation will help to improve the support services available to players across the country.”
Warren Evans, Sports Chaplaincy UK chief executive, said: “This donation is a strong indication of the duty of care that the SPFL and Scottish FA have for their member clubs and all those connected to them.
“Sports Chaplaincy UK considers it a privilege to work in partnership with both organisations as we help to train and facilitate volunteer chaplains, who in turn provide more than 20,000 hours of pastoral care and support to over 3,000 people involved in football throughout Scotland.”