Written evidence submitted by Richard
My comments are principally aimed at the achievement
of increased participation within grass roots sport and will also
indicate how this can be measured in terms of the action I propose.
I retired as a Tax Partner with Deloitte in
July 2005 having spent over 25 years advising sport particularly
in the voluntary non-profit sector on tax and related financial
Since then I have spent most of my time advising
sport in a voluntary capacityI am Honorary Tax Adviser
to the Central Council of Physical Recreation and a Trustee of
the Rugby Football Foundation, a charity which supports grass
roots rugby. I am also Chair of the CASC Development Forum which
helps promote the financial welfare of community sports clubs
by encouraging them to take advantage of the fiscal and other
benefits from registering as either a charity or under the Community
Amateur Sports Club scheme.
These comments are personal to me and are not
made on behalf of CCPR, RFF or the CASC DF.
Voluntary sports clubs will play a critical
role in securing a legacy in terms of grass roots participation
from the London 2012 Olympics. There is a grave danger that the
success of the event itself will not provide that legacy because
there is insufficient capacity within the voluntary sports club
sector to accommodate a significant increase in participation.
Sports clubs need adequate funding which is not easy in the current
environment as a result of the diversion of Lottery funding to
pay for the 2012 Olympics and the severest recession in living
Up to date information on club finances is available
form a recent survey commissioned by CCPR in its "Survey
of Sports Clubs 2009" (Sports Industry Research Centre
November 2009). 1,975 clubs provided full details for questions
on members, volunteers, income and expenditure for 2008 and 2007.
The sample on which the Survey was based covered a broad spectrum
of clubs both property and non property owning. Average profits
per club were £1,986 (£1,316 excluding golf) in 2008.
This is a very small surplus in the context of running clubs which
is not sufficient in my view to support a significant increase
The Survey also showed that membership numbers confirmed
the importance of clubs in providing opportunities for participation
by adults and juniorsaverage club size was 117 adults and
107 juniors. It also found that sports clubs were economically
resilient but were sensitive to changes in the policies of organizations
they work with and the legislative framework provided by Government.
There is every likelihood that legislative and administrative
burdens will increase in the run up to 2012 if the pattern of
the last few years is repeated and with a poor economic environment
club resources will be squeezed further.
THE CASC SCHEME
There is a solution to this issue of adequate
club finances. For nearly nine years the CASC scheme has been
promoting good practice amongst local sports clubs. To be eligible
to participate the club must:
reinvest any income back in the club
and transfer assets on winding up to charity, another CASC or
to the sports governing body for community sport.
In return registered CASCs get 80% mandatory
business rate relief, certain direct tax exemptions and qualify
for gift aid repayments on any donations.
To date over 5,500 clubs have registered under
the scheme benefiting from a cash injection of around £65
million. The CASC scheme therefore has the capacity to inject
the necessary financeif there were no further registrations
the registered clubs will continue to benefit at the rate of £15
million per year but increasing the number of registered clubs
by 1,000 would increase the flow of cash by around £3 million
per year in total. The average club benefits by just under £3,000
each year and this would treble the surpluses by the average club
within sports other than golf providing much needed finance to
support an increased capacity for participation.
The introduction of the CASC scheme was not
connected in any way with a bid for the Olympics but the latter
represents an opportunity to exploit the scheme further. It must
be said that the take up has been slower than sport would have
wished. I have been involved with the development of the CASC
concept since 1999 when an informal group was established to make
proposals for tax relief for sports clubs. Following the introduction
of legislation in 2002 this group was formalized as the CASC Development
Forum whose members include HMRC, CCPR, DCMS, Sport England, Bates
Wells and Braithwaite and myself as Chair. Whilst this has worked
well and we have established a dedicated website www.cascinfo.co.uk
to provide guidance to clubs there is insufficient resource to
effectively promote the scheme. There has been no contact/liaison
from those responsible for ensuring that there is a grass roots
Olympic legacy of increased participationindeed I am not
even sure which organisation has that responsibility.
THE CASC SCHEME
Myself and CCPR are currently working with Sport
England and Just Giving to encourage CASCs to seek more donations
which qualify for gift aid. Whilst that will be very helpful in
the short term it will not address the need for more clubs to
hear about the scheme and register as CASCs to take immediate
benefit from the cash which is available.
In my view what is needed is a specific initiative
to promote the Olympic Legacy linked to CASC status and in which
those responsible for that Legacy will actively participate. This
would involve the provision of funding to develop and execute
the CASC initiative which would be aimed at the increase of awareness
of the CASC scheme and the provision of support to clubs wishing
to register. The effectiveness of it could be measuredeg
by setting targets for the number of club registrations and total
cash benefits received. The initiative would include:
working with the Olympic "authority"
responsible for "soft legacy" to exploit all CASC opportunities;
working with National Governing Bodies
of Sport particularly the Olympic sports to assist their clubs
circulars/communication with sports clubs;
regional workshops working with County
Sports Partnerships and Local Authorities;
hotline supportby telephone or
e mail; and
monitoring progress, feedback and easing
administration in consultation with HMRC CASC Unit in Bootle.