Clubs Registered as Charities

Clubs that achieve charitable status with the regulator in Scotland, OSCR, need to comply with charity law. This page outlines some of the requirements of sport clubs registered as charities.


Those serving on the board have certain legal duties as charity trustees.

Charity trustee duties are broadly in line with what would generally be regarded as common-sense principles supporting good governance although there are some restrictions over who can be a Trustee of a charity. For example, those formerly disqualified from being a charity trustee under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 are not eligible.

The 2005 Act states that the constitution of a SCIO must make provision for the appointment of charity trustees and about any conditions of eligibility for becoming a charity trustee. It should be mentioned that OSCR would be prepared to accept a key employee (eg. project director or equivalent) serving on the board, providing this could be justified as being of significant benefit to the charity from the point of view of improving its management and administration (and providing the legal requirements in relation to this are observed) …and if that were being pursued, then appropriate adjustments would require to be made to the draft constitution – provisions allowing for this are included in the additional clauses. It should be borne in mind, though, that certain grant funders will not provide support to a body which has any employees on its board.



Every charity must prepare a set of accounts and a trustees’ annual report. The aim of accounts and reports is to provide a clear picture of your charity’s activities and financial position. The trustees’ annual report is also an opportunity to describe your work to the public and to funding bodies.

The requirements are not, however, particularly onerous but include the submission of the following to OSCR within 9 months of their accounting ‘year end’ via their online service:

  1. Annual accounts
  2. Trustees’ Annual Report
  3. External scrutiny report, and
  4. Online annual return.

From April 2016 OSCR began to publish charities’ accounts on their website, initially for those charities with an annual income of £25,000 or more, and for all SCIOs. When a charity publishes its accounts on its website and has supplied OSCR with a link, they have also made this available.