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Councils and contractors are having to find more creative ways to fund facilities

Are councils asking too much of contract operators? As a number of large sport and leisure contracts come up for renewal and with councils putting ever more pressure on operators, we ask whether councils are heading into dangerous territory by being too demanding


ocal government leisure

But do too many councils

contracting is running

expect operators to step up and

into some interesting

make the numbers add up for

challenges as we head

them, while putting pressure on

into the fourth decade of

them to perform? And if so, are

management contracts.

the cracks starting to show?

you can never own, when for far less investment, you can start your own business right over the

Why pay a management fee to a council when you can start your own business right over the road?

From a naive beginning in

Faced with the choice

the late 80s with Compulsory

between signing up for an

Competitive Tendering,

onerous 25 year contract,

– some operators are privately

contracting has matured as a

during which the council will

suggesting their management

sector and now boasts a roster

expect escalating fees and the

contracting days are numbered.

of serious players with vast

alternative – the freedom to

operational expertise.

compete on the open market


ISSUE 2 2018

road with no constraints. If councils push too hard, they may spawn a whole new raft of competition, as management contractors throw in the towel

Why pay a penalty to a council for the right to operate a facility

and decide to compete instead. And with only two main revenue streams – swim lessons and gym memberships, that competition would hurt badly.


Profile for Leisure Media

Sports Management Issue 2 2018  

Sports Management Issue 2 2018