Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and Multi Sports Clubs

Some sports clubs provide facilities for and promote participation in more than one sport. These 'multi-sports' clubs can be structured in a number of different ways. They are usually unincorporated associations or companies limited by guarantee, with a management committee or board of directors (referred to below as 'MC'). Clubs are free to organise as they see fit but not all of the different structures will qualify for Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) purposes.

Examples of Multi-sports clubs that may qualify as Community Amateur Sports Club (CASCs):

Integrated single entity. In this model there is a single club run by a single MC that admits and removes members, organises the sporting activity and manages the property and financial affairs of the club. There is one bank account and one set of accounts. Each individual wishing to join becomes a member and pays a subscription to the club. This type of club can be accepted by HMRC as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), provided that it meets the statutory criteria, including having an appropriate constitution.

Single entity with integrated sub-sections. Here the club has a single MC that is responsible for running the club. The MC delegates responsibility to different sub-committees to organise the various different sports and may also choose to delegate responsibility for admitting members to their sections (e.g. the football committee admits members who wish to play football). The MC may set guidelines for subscriptions but the exact level may be left for individual sub-committees. Members wishing to play different sports may need to apply to the appropriate sub committee and pay the appropriate subscription or the MC may deal with subscriptions. Each section may have regulations or byelaws setting out their delegated responsibilities.

In some cases these sub-committees may operate separate bank accounts (which are all club bank accounts). Indeed, separate sections may be required by governing bodies or grant makers to compile separate accounts. However, the club must consolidate these into one set of club accounts, which will incorporate the income and expenditure of all the integrated sub-sections.

Final responsibility for the whole club rests with the central MC who can, for example, limit the amount of expenditure and debt each sub-committee can incur. In addition, on winding up, the assets from one section of the club are available to cover debts in other sections. This type of club can be accepted by HMRC as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), provided that it meets the statutory criteria.

Lead club with independent affiliated clubs. Here one club (for example a rugby club) may own and manage the facilities, but allow affiliated clubs to use its facilities.

In such circumstances there is no single club that can be registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club. Each individual club must decide whether to register as CASC in its own right. The lead club will benefit from mandatory non-domestic rates relief if registered.

'Mother' club with affiliated member clubs. Here there is a 'mother' club that owns or rents the property. The MC of the 'mother club' is responsible for the provision of facilities and promoting participation in the sports conducted by the club. It will be the rateable occupier. There are a number of affiliated member clubs who use the facilities. Each affiliated member club can each be accepted by HMRC as a Community Amateur Sports Club, provided that it meets the statutory criteria. On the same basis, the ‘mother’ club can also be accepted as a CASC, although such clubs may find they do not meet the criteria.

Each individual member of an affiliated club must be entitled to become a member of the mother club. They may for example be automatically given membership of the mother club when admitted as a member of an affiliated club. Or the mother club may admit them as members and then they apply or are allocated to the different affiliated clubs, depending on what sport they wish to play. There may be a subscription to join the mother club or this may be free with subscriptions paid to the affiliated clubs for membership of these.

The members of the mother club appoint the MC of the mother club (which may specify that each affiliated club must be represented etc).

Each club within this structure will have to decide whether it wishes to apply for CASC status. Applications will be judged independently upon the criteria of the CASC scheme.

It is not essential for all (or indeed any) affiliated club to apply or qualify as a Community Amateur Sports Club for the mother club to apply in its own right for CASC status. Regardless of the activities of any affiliated clubs, to be accepted as a CASC, the mother club must itself meet the statutory criteria. Crucially this means that the 'mother' club must itself actively promote participation in eligible sports and cannot merely be a passive provider of facilities.

Multi-sports clubs that cannot qualify as Community Amateur Sports Club (CASCs):

'Mother' club with affiliated member clubs. Where the mother club has no individual membership, but has as its members the affiliated clubs (i.e. it is a club of clubs), then we will not accept that the 'mother' club can register as a Community Amateur Sports Club, though the affiliated clubs will be able to apply for CASC status.

This structure does not comply with the CASC requirements as membership is only open to organisations (the affiliated clubs) and not to individuals. It is therefore not open to the whole community.

This is a very complicated area and in multi-sports club circumstances you should contact our specialist Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) team.

If you would like to talk to someone in the sports team please email sports@plummer-parsons.co.uk or call the office on 01323 431200.

Plummer Parsons

Plummer Parsons