A Guide to Club Structures for Semi-Professional and Amateur Sports Clubs 2015


Published 27 July 2015 | Authored by: Jon Walters

In promoting the success of a sports club, attention will inevitably be drawn towards improving the club’s player base and coaching staff, managing its financial and administrative affairs and securing proper premises and facilities. This is rightly so, but often overlooked is the way in which the club is set up legally and the impact that this may have on the financial and legal position of the club, and the personal risk which committee members and trustees take on. This can be of critical importance, particularly if there are financial difficulties or a claim brought against the club (for example for player or spectator injury).


This guide looks at the different legal structures available to sports clubs, ranging from members’ associations to corporate bodies, and considers the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you are involved in running a club, it is prudent to consider whether your club is set up correctly. This guide aims to help you with this. The Appendix to this guide sets out an overview of the process of adopting a new structure for your club.

The structures analysed in this guide include:

  • Unincorporated Associations
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee
  • Companies Limited by Shares
  • Community Interest Company
  • Cooperative or Community Benefit Society (formerly known as Industrial and Provident Society)
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations
  • Community Amateur Sports Club Status (CASC)

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About the Author

Jon Walters

Jon Walters

Partner, Northridge

Jon provides commercial and corporate advice to clients. He is recognised by the directories as a “real go-to adviser” and a “commercial and regulatory expert”, with particular expertise on governance, corporate advice and commercial rights.

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