Thousands of Sports Clubs Could Close
Greta Gueresi-Leach on 07/05/2009
Around 6,000 community sports clubs could be forced to close in the next 12 months across the UK as a result of the recession according to a new survey.
The research released today by CCPR, an umbrella organisation for 290 national governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK, revealed that 60 per cent of clubs are suffering from reductions in the revenue they manage to raise commercially. While around 40 per cent are seeing membership subscription income and renewals fall.
In addition, the financial constraints are forcing almost half to reduce investment in coaching, in kit, facilities and community initiatives or to consider it. Staff and opening hour reductions and cutbacks in the level of coaching and training offered are also happening.
Brigid Simmonds OBE, CCPR chair, said: "The data shows that sports clubs are in trouble. CCPR has been pushing the government to do more for clubs through our 'Subs for Clubs' campaign and by fighting off endless increases in regulation which increase their costs. This survey shows that unless we act, thousands of local sports clubs could go under. That would be a tragic shame for their members and their communities.
"Even those which survive the recession are telling us that they are going to have to make cutbacks. These clubs have to make ends meet and falls in subscriptions will be met with reductions in coaching, in investment in kit and facilities, in community programmes. There can be no doubt that cuts will set us back.
"The government needs sports clubs to introduce the 'five hour offer' for sport in schools. They simply do not have the staff or commitment from schools without involving local sports clubs.
"What we need now is a moratorium on any new regulations, laws and charges affecting clubs. We are already fighting off liquor licensing fees, drainage charges from multi-million pound water companies, a development tax and music license fees.
"Sport needs all the support it can get but from the reception we get in some government departments you would think we were selling cigarettes or fatty foods, rather than sport. We know that clubs are likely to go to the wall as a result of the recession. What we don't want is to compound that with any new regulations which could push still more over the edge."
Source: Leisure Opportunities
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