Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Double Boost for Sport in the Community [November 2001]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 30 November 2001.

In the latest Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor announced a double boost for community sport.  He launched a consultation document seeking views on the best way to support community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) which make a positive contribution to their local communities.  This coincides with the Charity Commission’s decision that CASCs may now apply for charitable status.  In addition, a deal with the football pools companies has been made to provide additional funding to grass-roots sport.

Welcoming the Pre-Budget announcements on community sport, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Paul Boateng said today:

“These announcements will be a valuable boost to the sporting activities of many local communities, helping to sustain sport in the community for its myriad benefits including health, community building and crime reduction.  The Charity Commission’s proposal to extend charitable status to sports clubs is most welcome.  It will recognise and strengthen the valuable work sports clubs up and down the country are doing.  The Government is listening to the concerns of sports clubs and demonstrating its commitment to supporting the hugely important contribution they make to society.

“In addition, following the success of our radical reforms to betting taxation, we will now go further by modernising the tax treatment of pools betting. The big football pools companies have a long history of supporting good causes and I am very pleased that – as a result of these reforms – they have decided to extend their funding of the Football Foundation and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts for a further two years.”


Today’s consultation document – “Promoting Sport in the Community” – outlines the current tax status of sports clubs and the case for supporting CASCs.  In the past, many CASCs have argued that they deserve charitable status in recognition of the important role they play in the community and that in the absence of charitable status, they should at least enjoy similar tax relief.  Following the Charity Commission’s decision to grant CACSs charitable status, they will now be able to enjoy the full range of benefits that this status confers – not only tax relief, but also mandatory business rate relief, greater funding opportunities and public recognition.  The Government is keen to hear views from interested parties on the way forward and in particular whether there is still a strong case for proceeding with a separate Inland Revenue scheme (details of which are attached), or whether the Charity Commission package would appear to provide better prospects.

The Minister for Sport Richard Caborn said:

“These measures demonstrate the importance this Government attaches to sport and, in particular, the vital role that volunteers in the community play in sustaining sport at the neighbourhood level.

“I welcome Littlewoods and Vernons agreement to continue funding for the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and Football Foundation for a further two years.”


As the Government announced in the Pre-Budget Report, the current 17.5 per cent pools betting duty will be abolished in the next Budget and replaced by a 15 per cent tax on pools companies’ gross profits.

As a result, the leading football pools companies have agreed to extend their current funding of the Football Foundation and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts for a further two years until March 2004. This will help these Foundations to continue their vital work in supporting grass-roots sports clubs and community arts projects.

Colin McGill, Managing Director of Littlewoods Leisure, said:

“The very welcome tax reform announced by the Government is great news for sports clubs and other good causes across Britain who will benefit from Littlewoods’ continued support. Over the last ten years, our Pools business has given back over £400m to football, other sports and the arts. We are therefore delighted to be able to commit to further funding of these good causes over the next two years.”

Steve Roberts, Managing Director of Vernons, added:

“Vernons are proud of their long association with the good causes, which have helped benefit many local sporting activities throughout the country. The betting taxation reforms announced today are warmly welcomed and will help Vernons to continue their funding of the Foundations to help encourage sport in local communities.”