Get help to find what you need

Club Matters offers support and guidance to clubs in a wide range of topics.

To help find what you need, select the option below which best describes your current situation.


Get started

If your club is new or in the process of being set-up, we recommend exploring our Start a Club section.

This section is split into the following topics:

  • Things to think about before starting your club
  • The rules and structure your new club will adopt
  • The facilities and funding you will need in place
  • Raising awareness of your club

For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Keep it up

If your club wants to maintain what it has, or check you’re doing the best you can, we recommend exploring our main topic areas in more detail.

Sign-up to workshops which cover key topic areas such as business planning, marketing, club structures, finances and tax.

Register for free for full access to our resources

Click on these boxes to access toolkits, online modules and interactive content. Have a look around to see which areas your club could benefit from.

For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Get back on track

My club is struggling on one or more areas and is looking for specific guidance.

We need help growing or maintaining our membership levels We need to manage our finances better We are looking for guidance on applying for funding We need more volunteers to help run our club We are unsure what good governance really means or how we can improve We don’t know if our club’s legal structure is right for us We need support with our facilities or lack of facilities We want to better understand our members and what they want from the club

Top Tips

1. Think about the best way to market your club to reach potential new members

2. Make sure your club is welcoming and inclusive to appeal to new members

3. Make your club experience extraordinary, so that your current members want to stay


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Marketing Inclusivity Members and Participants

Top Tips

1. Get into a routine of checking your club’s financial position and keeping records

2. Plan for the future and develop a budget, to help you keep costs on track

3. Get your income from a variety of sources, to stay sustainable


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Managing Money Budgeting Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Create a clear club development plan to show funders that you have realistic goals

2. Research the best funding for your club

3. Don’t forget the other ways to raise funds for your club, including fundraising, forming partnerships and gaining sponsorship


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Development Plan Funding Guidance Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Look beyond your current volunteer base - don’t just rely on those who already have a link to the club

2. Convey the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving a CV or boosting self-confidence

3. Improve the experience of your current volunteers to reduce the risk of them leaving


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Finding Volunteers Developing Volunteers Keeping Volunteers

Top Tips

1. Governance is all about having the right people, policies, procedures and structure in place at your club

2. Protect your club’s reputation by creating, communicating and following a robust set of policies

3. Have an effective committee with clear roles and responsibilities, skills and experiences


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Governance Policies and Procedures Effective Committees

Top Tips

1. Explore all the options available and consider seeking legal advice

2. Incorporating your club creates a separate legal entity and protects your committee and members from entering into contracts in their own name

3. Adopting charitable status or becoming a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) can provide benefits such as tax relief for your club


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club structures Incorporated Charitable Status CASC

Top Tips

1. Carry out risk assessments for the facilities you use

2. Hiring or leasing facilities is often the simplest solution if you only need to access them for a few hours each week

3. If you own your facilities, make sure you are clued up on business rates and energy saving measures to keep costs down


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Facilities Risk Assessment Managing Costs

Top Tips

1. The way people participate in sport is changing, you need to make sure your club is flexible and can adapt to modern lifestyles and demands

2. Seek feedback from your members

3. Every club can improve, keep trying to make your club’s experience even better by creating and following an action plan


Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Understanding Your Members Understanding Your Offer Delivering a Great Experience Being Consistently Brilliant

Raise the bar

If your club is keen to develop and you want to improve your current offer, we recommend using our Club Improvement Tool.

The tool prompts you to think about how your club is performing now and where you would like it to be in the future. Based on your responses, the tool directs you to specific resources to help you reach your goals.


For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.


Clubmark is Sport England’s universally acknowledged, cross-sport accreditation scheme.

If your club wants to achieve Clubmark accreditation or you want to find out more, we recommend exploring our Clubmark section.


For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Please note: Content included within the area does not currently reflect any changes made in the Autumn 2017 budget announcement

Club Finances

Tax and Sports Clubs


Tax is an issue for many sports clubs. Understanding what you need to know is the first step in making sure your sports club meets its obligations. If you don’t your club could be at financial risk.


Tax may be a daunting subject for many sports clubs but it’s one you cannot afford to ignore. A good starting point is to understand what are the different taxes that might be relevant for your club and why. As part of this, you should consider your Club Structure and check if it is the most suitable for your needs. You can then investigate the relevant areas further and seek financial help and advice as required.

There are lots of different types of tax.  Typically the areas most relevant to sports clubs include:

Business rates

Business rates, or more formally, National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR), are payable by businesses, including sports clubs, on the property they occupy. Visit our Business Rates page to find out more.

Corporation tax

If your club is a limited company or an unincorporated association that trades and makes a profit then you will need to file a corporation tax return and may need to pay corporation tax. Income from members (such as membership subscriptions, or bar income) where the club is not seeking to make a profit and any surplus is used for the members benefit is generally exempt from corporation tax under the “mutual trading” concept. Other income may be taxable including:

  • Trading income from non-members (e.g. bar sales)
  • Investment income (e.g. bank interest)
  • Property income (e.g. rent received)
  • Chargeable gains (e.g. on the sale of land)

Income or gains may be offset by certain reliefs or allowable expenses. For further detailed information on corporation tax, visit the GOV UK website. Some National Governing Bodies also provide more detailed information relevant to their sport.


Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is the system that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) from employees’ pay as they earn it. If your sports club has employees, you may have to deduct tax and NICs from their pay each pay period and may also have to pay Employer’s NICs (Class 1). Employers NIC is therefore an additional cost to the club.

One of the most important issues for sports clubs is whether someone who your club engages (e.g. a coach) is a volunteer or works on an employed or self-employed basis.

It is important to consider the “employment status” as it will have implications for tax and NICs. There are also legal issues including the national minimum wage and the rights of employees.

This area can be complex, and there are a number of examples of sports clubs being fined by HMRC for failing to account for PAYE and NIC correctly. The PAYE and Employment Status workshop, linked at the bottom of the page, looks at these areas in more detail and your governing body may offer further support. HMRC also provide some guidance on employment status.


    • You will probably be aware of VAT from paying bills or buying goods. If your club is VAT registered then you will charge VAT when they supply certain goods and services, (known as taxable goods and services), in relation to business transactions
    • For many clubs, VAT becomes a issue when they are considering a large capital project (e.g. a new club facility)
    • It is a common misconception that once a club has registered for VAT it can reclaim all of the VAT on its purchases; this is rarely true
    • It may be possible for some of the costs of the project to be exempt from VAT, or if not, for your club to recover a significant proportion of the VAT incurred if it is VAT registered. Each case depends upon the specific facts and circumstances of the club and its activities
    • If you are planning, are in the process of undertaking or have recently completed a large capital project, you should seek professional VAT advice to ensure your treatment of the costs incurred is appropriate and you ensure the best position for your club
For specific support on VAT and your sports club, log-in to download our VAT Guidance.

Sale of land

Some clubs may be in the position to raise funds (e.g. to fund improvements to their club facilities) by selling off land. If your club is considering this, remember there may well be tax implications, in particular VAT and corporation tax issues to consider.

There are tax reliefs that may be available to reduce or defer some or all of any tax due, and you may be able to structure your club, for example as a charity or CASC in a way that makes you exempt from gains on the sale of assets.

If this issue may affect your club then seek professional advice and explore whether your governing body can assist.

Vat Guidance

We have developed specific VAT Guidance to help sports clubs navigate this complex area of tax. This is particularly important if you are applying for grant funding for a capital project. Make sure you register and log-in to access this great free resource.

Download VAT Guidance

We also have our VAT & Sports Clubs online module available for further support.

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