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Improvements made to the CASC system

Improvements made to the CASC system will offer community sports clubs greater flexibility

by John Goodbody, Sports Journalist | Published in Sports Management 2013 issue 4
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

There should be a warm welcome to the new widespread changes to the tax regulations affecting small sports clubs. The government recognised that the original legislation governing the Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) was unclear and causing confusion and so after a lengthy public consultation has now set out some new rules to help these clubs and so hopefully to boost participation.

Over the last three years, the Sport and Recreation Alliance has led the way with a series of meetings with officials of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to secure these further tax breaks. The government also got 146 responses to requests for opinions and evidence from sports clubs, representative bodies, individuals and even accounting firms.

In publishing its decisions, Nicky Morgan, the economic secretary to the Treasury, emphasised:”The government believes that participation in sport at a local level should be based on enthusiasm and not on income. Alongside the more generous tax breaks for CASCs, we have made it clearer that they should make them accessible to all.”

The CASC scheme has been one of the success stories of the grassroots of sport, with 6,200 clubs registered across a range of disciplines. These clubs have benefitted through at least 80 percent mandatory business rate relief and even 100 per cent discretionary relief in some cases, as well as the ability to claim Gift Aid on voluntary contributions. In total there has been more than £130m in savings since the scheme was set up in 2002 as well as £12m in Gift Aid.

Now has come a further bonanza. Registered clubs can now generate greater amounts of trading and rental income (up to £50,000 and £30,000 respectively) without being hit by a charge on corporation tax. Gift Aid has also been extended, thus allowing local businesses to give donations to sports clubs, while a trading subsidiary can give more of their profits back to the main club tax free. Clubs now have greater flexibility if they want to reimburse players and officials for subsistence and travel costs and there is more provision for them to make some small payments to their players or competitors. They can also generate as much money as they like from their members, although there is a ceiling of £100,000 from non-members – a member being anyone who plays sport at the club at least 12 times in a year.

The new rules also clarify how a club must be open to the whole community, so as to be able to register as a CASC. A club cannot charge members more than £10 a week or £520 a year or it will have to give special discounts for those people wanting to become members but who cannot afford the fees. No club is allowed to charge more than £31 per week to be eligible for the relief.

Sports clubs make our society happier, healthier and wealthier and tax relief will make a significant difference to them. Now the ambition must be to get changes on the status of PAYE payments due for employees, such as bar staff and receptionists, which prove such an onerous burden on clubs. One victory has been achieved but the fight must go on.

The importance of families in sport and fitness

Judy Murray
Judy Murray
Judy Murray,

Tennis Coach and Founder,

Set4Sport


Sport and fitness are at the core of the British psyche. Physical activity challenges us to do more, see more and to achieve more. My personal view is that this doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a Wimbledon Champion (though it doesn’t hurt), but finding a personal goal no matter how small and working towards it, and getting the satisfaction at the end of it.

I’m a passionate believer that the family should be one of the places where collective achievements can be made through physical activity. Since London 2012 there’s been a great emphasis on getting kids more active, which is brilliant. There’s great work being done by schools, councils, leisure providers and brands to ensure that there are as many options as possible for kids to get active in the community. But there seems to me, in all of the debate, to be a missing component which is rarely spoken about. For me, that component is the family unit and how it spends its time together, with a particular emphasis on the crucial “early years” period.

I’ve been working with ukactive, which is as keen as I am to get more people, more active, more often – to study the evidence behind the importance of the home and family in fostering a positive attitude towards physical activity.

The research it has undertaken is really emphasising the importance of the family unit. For example, the team at ukactive has highlighted the vital importance of an underpinning level of physical literacy, completely distinct from any sport specific skills, as being the most important place to start with young children.

That’s why I launched Set4Sport in partnership with RBS. The sole aim of Set4Sport is to support families who want to get active together. It’s a free toolkit bursting with activities that you can play anywhere. Set4Sport has been supported by RBS since its launch in 2011 and showcases the games that I played with my sons long before they went on to win Grand Slams and Wimbledon Championships. I played ball games with Jamie and Andy almost as soon as they could walk. We didn’t know it then, but we were all taking part in the most basic of coaching sessions. It was great fun but it also helped them develop the co-ordination skills which would allow them to play any sport competently in later life and it’s clear that there is now a growing body of evidence to reinforce this type of approach. The fact is, families that play together, win together. To find out more about Set4Sport: www.set4sport.com

Making roads cycle proof

Adrian Lord
Adrian Lord
Adrian Lord,

Infrastructure expert,

Steer Davies Gleave and british cycling


In 2012 we celebrated a British winner of the Tour de France and the velodrome was the ‘must have’ ticket at the London Olympics. British success continued in 2013, and we can look forward to hosting Le Tour in 2014. Interest in cycling has never been higher. In Ilkley, West Yorkshire, one in 14 of the population is a member of the local cycling club! More people are cycling to work and schools.

It’s not all good news. Recent fatalities have highlighted the hazards of cycling on busy urban roads, particularly with lorries and buses which have extensive blind spots. Accidents are rare compared with the millions of cycle journeys made, life-changing serious injuries affect hundreds of people each year. Each of these is tragic, but so is the misery of hundreds of thousands of deaths and chronic illnesses in the UK each year associated with inactivity, which cycling could help to cure.

Anybody who rides a bike in Britain will have experienced aggression or carelessness by drivers. This makes the roads feel unsafe and fear prevents people from cycling. A cycle track which stops whenever it reaches a problematic road crossing doesn’t actually help at the places where accidents occur, and is uncomfortable and inconvenient to use.

Chris Boardman coined the term ‘Cycle Proofing’ to try to encapsulate the measures needed to make roads more safe, convenient and attractive for cycling. In terms of design this means separating cyclists from traffic on main roads, reducing speeds to improve safety on minor roads and giving pedestrians and cyclists direct routes and sufficient time to cross busy junctions safely.

This approach to design needs to be backed up by processes, training and changes to traffic law to enable the UK to adopt the best ideas from countries which have successfully delivered more cycling. Cycle proofing is also about getting strong technical and political leadership to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians are treated with the same consideration as motor traffic when planning roads and streets.

As a sport, cycling success is achieved through meticulous planning, analysis of what gets results, leadership and hard work by individuals. It is not unreasonable to assume that if we plan for everyday cycling with the same rigor, we will get more people cycling on a safer road network.

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