Memorandum submitted by the Institute
of Professional Sport
1.1 The Institute of Professional Sport
(IPS) is the representative body for the professional players
association in Great Britain.
1.2 The opportunity to submit evidence to
the Committee on the Staging of International Events is welcomed.
Whilst the Government support for international events and new
world class venues is all important, it is the players who remain
the prime reason for people's attendance. As the last report highlighted,
"home support" can make the difference between winning
and losing when playing at the highest level.
2. THE 2006 WORLD
2.1 Garth Crooks OBE was involved, in a
separate capacity, in the 2006 World Cup Bid. As such, he would
like to place on record his support for the excellent work of
the campaign team and the manner of government support for the
3. PLAYERS AS
3.1 Players are the international face of
sport. The excellent and tireless campaigning of Sir Bobby Charlton
and Franz Beckenbauer for the English and German 2006 World Cup
Bids respectively represents a model of good practice.
3.2 The IPS is of the opinion that given
the truly international nature of British professional sport there
is scope for making a greater use of a wide range of British based
sportsmen and women to assit in bid campaigns.
4.1 The IPS strongly agrees with the Committee
that it is important to have British postholders in key positions
on International and European Federations to make the case for
British bids. Whilst Britain's influence on International Federations
may have declined, it is worth noting that international players
associations have British representatives in key positions. For
example, the Committee may be aware that the Chairman of the European
Professional Golf Association of Europe is from the British PGA
and the President of the International Players Association (FIFPro)
is from the Professional Footballers Association.
4.2 The IPS would welcome any encouragement
that the Committee is able to give to promote governing bodies
and players associations working closer together in attracting
international events to Britain. When making international bids
for sports events it is important that all British international
postholders are involved and support the bid.
5.1 Gaining key positions on International
Federations is by no means a simple task. The IPS feels that international
renowned players would have an advantage in gaining support amongst
fellow committee members on International and European Federations.
5.2 It should be possible to fast track
key players with the potential to become international postholders.
The Committee is encouraged to consider the merits of Government
support for a suitable training programme to assist the transition
from the sports pitch to the committee table. This would also
help to produce a step change in British international postholders
with younger and more diverse representatives being put forward.
6. HELP FOR
6.1 Government assistance for international
postholders can take many forms. Whilst financial support may
not be appropriate for all postholders, there can still be occasions
where access to Government officials, advisors and translators
would be of assistance, both to the postholders and to Government.
It is felt that relationships between Government and professional
players associations could still be improved.
7.1 The Government Sports Strategy, A
Sporting Future for All, outlines plans for governing bodies
to modernise their structures in return for greater control over
public finances. The IPS believes that a modern governing body
must have player representation within the decision making process.
7.2 The IPS is interested to learn what
progress QUEST has made in reviewing administrative structures
within national governing bodies. The Government response to the
Committee's Report stated "A priority work area (for QUEST)
over the first two years is likely to include a review of the
administrative structures within national bodies across the fields
of culture and sport, including a review of sports governing bodies."
8. EUROPEAN RULES
8.1 The IPS would welcome the Committee's
opinion as to whether Government support for international bids
is likely to be seen as an unfair subsidy by the European Commission.
8.2 It is understood that without a specific
Protocol for sport, the European Commission has little choice
but to treat sport as just another business.
9. TAX INCENTIVES
9.1 Deloitte and Touche have calculated
that the Government takes four times more money from sport in
taxes than it returns through central and local government combined.
The IPS would again ask the Committee to recognise the case for
tax breaks for International Sporting Events on a par with those
granted to the British Film Industry. This could be conditional
upon any surplus of income being invested in the grass roots of
10.1 The IPS welcomed the Committee's last
report into staging international events. Sports bodies have done
well in attracting international events although there is always
room for improvement.
10.2 The Committee's recognition in the
previous report of the need to have effective British postholders
in key positions on International and European Sports Federations
is fully endorsed by the IPS.
10.3 A fast track system for grooming suitable
international players for positions on International and European
Federations would help to reverse the long-term decline in British
influence on the world stage.
10.4 Professional sport in Britain is truly
international, often at the expense of opportunities for domestic
players. The IPS believes that future bids for international sporting
events should look to capitalise on the wide range of different
nationalities playing professional sport in Britain. In particular,
it is felt that this may offer a better approach than stressing
our traditional sporting heritage.