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Sport in Our Communities: Written Evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's Inquiry

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

The current sport governance models are not fit for purpose as governing bodies have fractured responsibilities across clubs and leagues (even within sports), are lacking in regulation and diversity, and need to be reviewed. Providing financial support for distribution by these bodies should come with accountability conditions attached to the funds.

The need for financial support within sports leagues arises from how competition is organised i.e. promotion and relegation. It causes sports clubs to overexert their financial resources to achieve sporting success without sufficient financial return. Financial support packages are not likely to alleviate the issue.

We propose a tax on elite leagues (which allows them to act purely in their own interest) to aid the debate of the extent that elite leagues should support lower leagues and grassroots. Any financial support provided by elite leagues should consider both the benefits and the costs to them, with further funding required by community clubs coming from alternative sources.

Our proposal for an amount of taxation that is viable is that resources taken from elite leagues are equal to the benefit they receive from the lower leagues and grassroots (for example, talent development and community building) less the costs (for example, loss of broadcasting revenues due to weakened global position). At present, little is known about the precise financial value of these elements. Further funding may be required by government to top this funding up to the amount required to maintain community club benefits to society.

Without proper measures and governance in place, additional financial support can exacerbate the existing problems of financial fragility at all levels.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUK Parliament
Commissioning bodyDigital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 8 Nov 2020

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