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Rate relief for football in the community: An open goal for Government in 2017

 

Football clubs, large and small, will not benefit from any substantive ‘give-aways’ following the Chancellors budget announced yesterday (8thMarch) although a hardship fund of £300m has been made available at the discretion of local councils..

 

A more generous rate relief was a clear goal scoring opportunity for the Chancellor, particularly for lower league clubs, and football will be tempted to send a red card to Mr Hammond, with the message – business rates are a significant financial burden and clubs, both large and small, are key to local communities as a focal point and a catalyst for redevelopment.

 

Upgrade, redevelopment and urban renewal are contributors to the business rate fund – the more commercial buildings, the greater the tax revenues to the Treasury, with at least 50% of rates coming back to local councils.

 

The ‘hat-trick’ of requirements for football in the community comprises the following three point wish list:

 

 

1.    Discretionary rate reliefs for all clubs to reflect their philanthropic work in the community.

2.    Mandatory relief to reflect and encourage any charitable provision by clubs.

3.    Automatic hardship relief for clubs who do not enjoy operational profits from their main activities.

 

 

The goal for football in the community should encompass a range of reliefs from business rates from 20% to 100% and clubs are encouraged to contact their local MP and Town Hall to explore the opportunities available under the Government’s policy of ‘localism’.

 

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