Six thousand sports clubs fear closure, says CCPR

Falling membership and regulatory burdens are to blame, claims sporting umbrella body

About 6,000 community sports clubs fear they could close in the next year because of the recession and "endless increases in regulation", according to sporting association umbrella body CCPR.

The 280 members of CCPR are sport and recreation governing and representative bodies, such as the Football Association. The organisation issued its warning after publishing the results of a survey of clubs at its annual conference yesterday.

Four per cent of the 160 clubs it polled said they feared closure. If this figure were extrapolated across the 150,000 clubs nationally, said CCPR, it would equate to 6,000 organisations.

"Sports clubs are in trouble," said Brigid Simmonds, chair of CCPR. "Unless we act, thousands could go under. That would be a tragic shame for their members and their communities.

Simmonds said CCPR had been "fighting off endless increases in regulation" that had increased clubs' costs.

"What we need now is a moratorium on any new regulations, laws and charges affecting clubs," she said.

"We are already fighting off licquor licensing fees, drainage charges from multimillion-pound water companies, a development tax and music licence fees.

The survey revealed that 40 per cent of clubs had experienced a fall in membership income and 60 per cent had suffered a decline in commercial revenue.

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