Club Rules are important. They are mandatory for Accredited Clubs and they are essential in maintaining a transparent and fair club culture.
The FA provide template club rules, however clubs, and their members have the autonomy to create and adopt club rules as they see fit.
Most grassroots football clubs are ‘Unincorporated Organisations’. An Unincorporated Organisation is not a legal entity. It is an organisation comprising of members. The membership may change from time to time. The members agree, usually in a written constitution / rules to co-operate in furthering a common purpose.
The Club Management Committee functions to serve the needs and wants of the wider club membership. Clubs should follow these simple steps in ensuring the club rules represent the voice of the club membership:
- Club Rules should be created by the Management Committee and presented to the membership for consultation prior to the AGM
- The membership should meet at the AGM to adopt the club rules
It is important that the Club Constitution / Rules:
- Define who the club members are
- Define how members become members and cease to become members
- Define how the members call an EGM
Q. What can the membership do if the Management Committee and / or members of the Committee don’t follow the Club Rules?
A. Firstly, members should follow the club’s Complaints and / or Appeals Policy. Committee Members are volunteers and sometimes make honest oversights. Often, Committee Members are happy to revisit decisions.
Q. What can the membership do if the Management Committee refuse to revisit decisions?
A. If the club follow the FA Model Club Rules, there is provision in these rules [Rule 2c) enable the membership to call an EGM. The membership can use an EGM to vote on proposals to change the club rules and/or the membership (i.e the Management Committee)
Q. What if the Club don’t follow the model club rules?
A. Members should review the Club Rules and identify any rules that relates to how decisions are made, approved and / or changed. Typically, in the absence of a rule to allow the membership to call an EGM, the rules should include a provision for a single member of the Management Committee to call an EGM.
Q. What if the club rules make no reference to an EGM at all?
Members can either:
a. Defer the matter to an AGM
b. Submit a to the East Riding FA – In exceptional circumstances (on the grounds of discrimination), disciplinary charges may be considered.
c. Members (Coaches, Players, Parents) can choose to leave the club and join another club or start up their own club.
Q. Can East Riding FA mandate a Management Committee (or individual members of the Management Committee) to rescind a decision?
A. East Riding FA (and the FA) functions to preserve the rules of the Football Association, not the rules of individual football clubs. Club members are responsible for challenging decisions using the powers afforded to them through the Club Rules (i.e an EGM / AGM).
To assist clubs the FA have created a set of Club Rules which can be adopted. To achieve and maintain England Football Club Accreditation clubs must either adopt these Club Rules or evidence their own.
England Football Club Rules