Living Wage in Scottish Football

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 September 2016.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative

I refer members to my declaration of interests, as I am a football referee with the Scottish Football Association. I was selected to speak in the debate by my chief whip at the beginning of the week, before my appointment for Saturday’s game was made. I will not enter into some of the conversations that Mr Dornan began about the two biggest teams in Glasgow, because of the role that I will be taking there at 12 o’clock on Saturday.

I agreed with an awful lot of what Mr Dornan had to say, particularly his earlier points. I was interested to hear that involvement in football can be better for people than running or lifting weights. For my involvement in football, I have to run and lift weights, so sometimes all three can be combined.

I realise that members’ business is normally a consensual discussion, and although I agree with much of the substance of what Mr Dornan said, I could not agree with comments that he made just last month, when he called for Scottish Athletics to pay the living wage, just as he is today calling for the Scottish Professional Football League to do so. He put out a press release and, two days later, he wrote to Scottish Athletics only to find out that it actually pays the living wage. I know a number of people in Scottish Athletics who were disappointed that he had not gone to it first to seek clarification. Indeed, he tarnished the name of Scottish Athletics through his comments in the press, which were factually inaccurate.

James Dornan rose—

I will give way to Mr Dornan on that point.