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Sports club insolvencies fall post-Olympics 1 August 2013

The number of sports clubs and facilities that have entered formal insolvency procedures has dropped 33% over the last year following the 2012 London Olympics, according to data from trade association R3.

The insolvency regulatory body reported that in the year to 30 June 2013, 82 sports clubs and facilities entered insolvency proceedings, compared to 123 in the previous year.

In comparison, during the year to 31 March 2013, the total number of UK corporate insolvencies dropped 12%.

Liz Bingham, R3 president, said: “Regular British sporting success, as well as the feel-good glow of the Olympics, may well have encouraged both children and adults to try new sports, join local teams, or keep on going with their gym membership.

“Extra interest – and income – will always be a welcome boost for sports clubs and facilities throughout the country.

“The ‘legacy’ of London 2012 has attracted a lot of attention. It would certainly be a positive Olympic legacy if any burst of grassroots interest in sport were to be sustained and translated into financially healthier sports clubs and facilities.”

The research, compiled by R3 using Bureau van Dijk’s Fame database of company information, also shows that sports-related insolvency levels are now 42% lower than they were five years ago when the UK entered recession.

However, despite the decline in sporting corporate failures, many sports clubs and facilities are still financially hard-pushed.

Liz Bingham explained: “Since the recession, many people will have cut back on discretionary spending like club memberships or trips to the gym.

“Sports facilities, gyms, and clubs are also vulnerable to seasonal changes in weather or lengthy gaps between playing seasons, which can make cash flow tricky to manage.”



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