CASH grants totalling £7.5 million are a “lifesaver” and will help ensure the survival of a number of clubs outwith the top flight.

That’s the view of Pars chairman Ross McArthur, who has welcomed news that the club will receive £500,000 from the Scottish Government as they face the prospect of losing almost half of its income this season.

Prior to Christmas, it was announced that, as part of a £55 million package of support for Scottish sport that was unveiled by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this month, clubs in the lower leagues would receive non-repayable grants to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19.

While those in the top flight can apply to Holyrood for loans, Championship sides will each receive half a million pounds, with teams in League One and League Two earning £150,000 and £100,000 respectively.

McArthur told Press Sport that the cash was “going to be massive” as games continue to be played without crowds – and at what he described as a “pinch point” in the campaign.

“I’d been quite vocal over the last few weeks about the need for something to be done,” he said.

“I think most people recognise that you can’t have supporters back at the moment but having been told that that can’t happen, we’re looking for some sort of parity with other sectors in terms of financial support.

“We’re more vulnerable now than we’ve ever been because furlough really doesn’t apply, we’ve incurred all of our costs, and we’re probably going to lose about 50 per cent of our income if we don’t get supporters back between now and the end of the season, which is looking more likely.

“That’s a huge hit. I can’t take 50 per cent off my costs so this money will allow us to certainly get through until the end of the season, and plug a big financial gap. The issue then is that money might be required into next season as well so we need to be really prudent with it.

“You never know in terms of how the figures are going to be divvied up but I’ve said long enough that the Championship is the no-man’s land of Scottish football because we’re all maintaining full-time jobs, we’ve got a full-time infrastructure, we’ve got a huge stadium, and everything else.

“Thankfully, this time, the Championship did get the support that was warranted I felt. There was a huge danger for a lot of clubs at all different levels.

“It is a lifesaver for Scottish football. There’s no question about it.”

McArthur continued: “It has impacted on clubs in different ways; as I say, as a club, we would probably be 50 per cent down on our income and that’s a huge amount of money to lose when you can’t bring your costs down by the same degree.

“I don’t know how many connotations we’ve had of our budget this season because it’s like no other season. Nobody knew what you were going into, it’s changing all the time, you’re anticipating crowds would be back at certain points, the virus was up and down in terms of numbers and the spread, and things are changing.

“There would be a lot of clubs in Scottish football, at all different levels, who would’ve been really worried. January’s normally the pinch point in a season when things get difficult, so even £150,000 to teams in League One, or £100,000 in League Two, that’s a lot of money for them.

“That should help all these clubs because, at the end of the day, most of these clubs in Scotland are at least 100-years-old, they’re the focal point of their community and they’re institutions. It would’ve been really sad to see anybody getting into so much difficulty that it could tip them over the edge so all credit to the Joint Response Group and the Government for coming up with something fairly quickly.”