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The economic contribution of the Scottish Professional Football League

In 2019, the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde was commissioned by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) to estimate the economic contribution of the SPFL to the Scottish economy. This short report summarises the key findings of that analysis.

In order to make such an assessment, we firstly examine information on clubs’ economic activities, including their revenues and day-to-day spending. These data were compiled from club accounts and from detailed research of a select number of SPFL member clubs across all four divisions.

Secondly, to capture the economic impact of supporter activities associated with matches, we undertook a survey of fans of SPFL clubs. This provided detailed information on the spending undertaken by attendees at football matches in Scotland, specifically those elements which are not spent in the stadium (which would be captured in the clubs’ accounts) .

Key Findings

  • For the 2017-18 season, the SPFL clubs’ activities plus all spending by spectators at SPFL matches contributed £444 million to Scottish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016 prices, helping to support around 9,300 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs.
  • On a net basis – i.e., adjusting for the impact of spending which is not additional to the Scottish economy – we find a contribution to Scottish GDP of £214 million (2016 prices), helping to support around 5,700 FTE jobs.

Authors

The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is a leading economy research institute based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.