Introduction

An efficiently managed pitch is essential for all pitch sports if it is to retain members and players and not incur unnecessary costs/reductions in income due to cancelled matches or training. However, like all aspects of club finances, it is essential that a proper budget is established showing how income can be maximised and costs managed.

Budget

From the groundsman’s point of view it is essential that there is a specific budget allowance relating to grounds maintenance. So that they can plan it is essential that the groundsman understands how much money is available during the year to cover the anticipated costs. The groundsman therefore needs to be part of the budget setting process to influence how much money will be available as well as to understand the assumptions made and priorities in other areas of the budget the club are making. 

"Without a pitch there will be no income from match fees or secondary spend from spectators and visitors"

The club treasurer should ask the groundsman to provide an annual budget for regular maintenance costs and provide separate information on costs related to one off items expenditure which are anticipated. Together the groundsman and the club treasurer should plan beyond a typical 12 month cycle and look to 3 and 5 year plans if significant pitch improvement work is anticipated.

Download an example of a typical grounds maintenance budget

Go the Club Matters website to find out more about club budgeting and finances.

Impact on income

A well-managed quality pitch that is enjoyable to play on and attractive to look at for spectators and visitors will always help attract new members. The pitch is clear representation of the club and is always visible. 

If a pitch is also not reliable when bad weather strikes this will lead to postponed or cancelled matches which will have a direct impact on bar takings and other secondary spend at the club during match days. 

Without a pitch there will be no income from match fees or secondary spend from spectators and visitors.

Expenditure

The expenditure for regular items of maintenance will be linked to seasonal management plan developed by the groundsman. (see the Seasonal management section for the individual sports) 

The following lists some of the types of expenditure that are likely to be incurred by clubs:

  • Groundsman salary and associated costs (where applicable)
  • Payments to contractors for carrying out specialist tasks that can’t be delivered by the club such as aeration. (See module Employing a Specialist Contractor)
  • Hire of equipment from equipment banks or other clubs
  • Purchase of materials such as seed and line marking materials (see module Buying materials)
  • Purchase of pitch furniture such as nets, corner flags, boundary markers or goal post protectors.
Further advice on financial planning for clubs

For more detailed advice and guidance on club finances and budgeting go to the Club Finances section of the Club Matters Website.