Philanthropist James Anderson opens up on decision to donate more than £3.5m to Scottish football causes


PHILANTHROPIST James Anderson has opened up on his decision to donate more than £3.5m to Scottish football causes in recent weeks.

Anderson, a partner at financial giants Baillie Gifford, handed over more than £3m to SPFL clubs to alleviate the pressures caused by the Covid-19 crisis, with all 42 sides banking £50,000.

He also gave £250,000 to the women’s game and £300,000 to grassroots football and was at pains to underline the importance of the game at a non-professional level.

Philanthropist and Hearts benefactor James Anderson | Hearts news
James Anderson speaks to Bloomberg about a wide range of issues

And Anderson insists the significance of sport to ‘deprived and suffering’ areas was a major factor in his generosity, adding that it can ‘cross the boundaries of society’.

Anderson, one of a group of benefactors who have given more than £9 million to Hearts over the last four years, was discussing his passion for the game during an interview with Bloomberg.

And he said: “There are very few institutions which cross the boundaries of society at the moment.

“Sport, in particular, is one of those and in many areas of Britain, it is one of the few hobbies that can provide an outlet in deprived and suffering areas.

“We also think it is very important to do this for women’s sport and youth sport at the same time. It’s not just about the professional game, albeit that is more high-profile and popular.

“We are strongly of the view that these are some of the most important institutions to maintain.”