Grow your football club's income


What is your income generation strategy? Have you got an enterprising financial plan? Or do you have a 'we are a football club, so all this business jargon doesn't really apply to us' approach?

How you generate the income to finance the activities of your club should at the core of your club, your leadership and your thinking. It is simply no good to have an attitude where the coaches 'just want to do cricket' and somebody should else make sure that the finances are in place to ensure that coaches' wishes are granted.

Having a 'Fundraising Officer or Committee' operating in splendid isolation from the rest of the club is rarely going to make a real difference to the financial state of your club. Whilst I am not disputing that a few dedicated fundraisers can indeed generate some income even at the most insular clubs, their efforts are not sustainable, as these entrepreneurs lose their spirit because of the indifference from the rest of the club.

If you want to be able to put any viable business proposition to funders, sponsors and other partners you must recruit people into your club who has a background in business development. Being able to influence other people/organisations to give you money and is one that many sports and cricket clubs lack. It is crucial that your club puts a strong focus on attracting those kinds of people - otherwise you won't progress, I fear. For ideas on how to attract change-makers please read our More volunteers at your football club guide.

So, why do you need £££££££?

I understand that your club does not exist to make a profit, but if you are losing money, and you can't pay your bills, you won't be around for long.

So, what level of 'profit' are we talking about?

  1. Can you pay your everyday bills and still have money left?

  2. Are you generating enough cash to be able to pay £3,000 for that club trip to


  3. What about paying for weed killer and other 'stuff' for your ground


  4. How much can you put forward towards the refurbishment of your changing


Also, remember, many funders insist on some sort of match funding, so if you can’t put forward some of your own money towards that big project, you will find it more difficult to attract grant funding.

What is your situation?

Do spend time some across the club discussing:


  • Where are we starting from?
  • What is our current situation?

  • What resources and income do we have now?

  • What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

  • What can we do?

  • What is our culture like?

  • What capacity do we have?

  • What capabilities do we have?

  • What do we need?

  • How much will it cost?

  • What people, skills, experiences, premises, equipment, funders and volunteer time do we need?

  • Does it all add up?

How does your club make money?

Get a clear picture of your club's mix of income streams using this simple template below £ % of turnover

Annual membership fees Fees (match, game) Donations, Bar, catering, hospitality Grants, Commercial sponsorship, Hiring out facilities,

How to develop a Balanced Income Model

In order for your club to become long-term financially sustainable, you will have to develop income streams from different sources and build relationships with a variety of funders, partners, customers and others.

How would you like those figures to look like next year and in three years?

The key here is to make sure that you have the right income profile where you are not too reliant on one source of income, which makes you very vulnerable (just ask the clubs where their 'sugar daddy' ran into financial problems).

This is not simply a question of getting better at fundraising but about building a sustainable business model

Sustainable income is about exploring income opportunities across a spectrum of funding streams, from small events (gin nights and ladies lunches), charitable donations, through to grants and providing community services under contracts. This not only spreads risk, but it ensures that your football club is best placed to take advantage of emerging trends and opportunities.

Sustainable funding can involve all these income streams.
The key to sustainability is to have a clear knowledge of which streams are the right ones for your club to explore (and which ones are not!).