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Rate bills: Check the rule book and keep going until the final whistle!

Football clubs should by now be receiving the dreaded brown envelopes issued by local councils and containing an indecipherable set of data headed ‘Rate Demand – 2017-18’. No surprise there then!

This year’s bills are particularly significant because it is a revaluation year and the numbers are different. The assessments for the last 7 financial years have become familiar and the multiplier has inflated annually arriving at 49.7p in 2016-17 (51.7p in London). In 2017-18 the rateable value is a new number and the multiplier has been re-calibrated by Government (in most cases to 47.9p). In addition there is a new ‘transitional relief’ element.

So what should the club secretary or FD be looking for?  Answer: A lot. Don’t forget that the whole ball needs to be in play and the same applies to the new rate bills. The whole bill needs to be correct for play to continue and payment to be made, so:


  • Check that the rateable value is correct (www.voa.gov.uk).
  • Check that the multiplier is correct: usually 47.9p, but add 2p in London, deduct 1.3p for ‘small assessments’ below £51,000 RV, consider possible exemption at £12,000 RV or less or partial exemption between £12,000 and £15,000. (Phew that was tough research!)  
  • Finally, apply the transitional adjustment (up or down) but in the correct ‘banding’ (see the Local authority website).


For those clubs with any fight left consider the possibility of ‘hardship relief’ following the Chancellor’s budget statement. The rules are convoluted and are likely to involve a good deal of subjectivity, but take a tip from Barcelona and keeping going until the final whistle….it might be worth it.


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