CLUB CONSTITUTION & RULES
1 - NAME
The name of our club is AFC Portchester Youth (hereafter called "the Club").
2 - OBJECTIVES
- To encourage as many children from Portchester and the surrounding areas, from the age of 4 (school Year R) upwards, to enjoy learning and playing football; promoting the spirit of teamwork and healthy living.
- Children of any ability should be encouraged to take part and we will never turn a child away for reasons of numbers or experience. Managers will have the discretion not to select players for matches where they feel that their development has not reached the level whereby it could compromise their safety, or where squad numbers exceed a reasonable number, resulting in a large number of substitutes.
- The Club will help players understand the rules of football, develop their personal skills in the four corners of the game (Technical, Psychological, Physical and Social) and above all, enjoy our sport. The Club strives to support children to develop more than just their football skills – helping them to gain confidence, build self-esteem, learn to work as team and improve their decision making.
3 - AGE GROUPS, TEAMS, TEAM SELECTION AND MOVEMENTS
- Children’s football is divided into two sections: Mini Soccer and Youth Soccer. Mini Soccer starts from age 4 (year R) and runs up to and including the Under 10 age group, while Youth Soccer commences. Children commence playing on smaller pitches, in smaller teams and with smaller goals, and this gradually progresses to the full size game by Under 13s. Mini Soccer’s ethos is child centred competition, and played in non-competitive leagues (where there is no recording or publishing of results and tables) although there are occasional Trophy or Cup events during the season.
- Teams are structured by age group in line with the school year and following the FA Youth Development Review the maximum number of players permitted in a game is:
Under 7 – 5 v 5
Under 8 – 5 v 5
Under 9 – 7 v 7
Under 10 – 7 v 7
Under 11 – 9 v 9
Under 12 – 9 v 9
Under 13 and over – 11 v 11
- Initially in Mini Soccer, teams within each age group are formed on a chronological basis, with a manager building a team based on the children who have joined at that time. As more children join the group, additional managers can form their team from those children not currently playing within a team together with new players and so on as time goes by. While teams play in the non competitive age groups and leagues, the club does not operate a hierarchical A, B, C system of teams.
- During Mini Soccer, all teams in an age group will train together wherever possible to encourage the social aspect of our sport and to allow managers and players to form bonds within the group which will become crucial as they progress through the various formats of football.
- From time to time players may wish to move from one team within the club to another. The club will facilitate these moves wherever possible, subject to the wishes of that child’s parent/guardian and the agreement of the manager of the team he/she wishes to join.
- If a manager wishes to move a child away into or from his/her existing team, he/she must FIRST discuss the move with the child’s current manager and then talk to the child’s parent/guardian to gain permission. No manager should discuss team moves directly with a child without the previous two steps having been followed.
- For leagues/age groups which are deemed competitive by the FA, managers may choose to select players based on ability. This might also mean players within a squad might be given less match time than others at the manager’s discretion. It does not mean that players will be excluded from training and developing as part of the squad. Managers are encouraged to discuss this with players and parents at appropriate opportunities prior to and throughout the season.
- “Cross signing” refers to a child being selected to play for both a Saturday and Sunday league team within his/her age group. The club will allow cross signings to take place, subject to the agreement of the child’s parent/guardian. As a matter of courtesy the child’s current manager should be informed of the proposed cross signing. No cross signings should take place in a team which has children not selected for matches due to squad size.
- If there are any queries regarding teams, team selection and movements, players and parents are encouraged to discuss these with the team manager in the first instance.
- The Complaints Procedure (see section 17) should be followed only as a last resort, and only when all efforts to resolve queries between parties have failed within the age group.
4 - CLUB COLOURS
The home colours of the club are orange and black. The club has a dedicated kit supplier, which must be used whenever a new kit is being ordered.
5 - AFFILIATIONS
- The Club will be affiliated to the Hampshire Youth Football Association.
- The Club will have the status of an Affiliated Member Club of the Football Association by virtue of its affiliation to/membership of the Football Association. The Rules and Regulations of the Football Association Limited and parent County Association and any League or Competition to which the Club is affiliated for the time being shall be deemed to be incorporated into the Club Rules.
- The Club will also abide by The Football Association’s Child Protection Policies and Procedures, FA Best Practice Codes of Conduct and the Equal Opportunities, Anti-Discrimination and Anti Bullying Policies.
- The Club shall support and promote the FA RESPECT Codes of Conduct for coaches, team managers, club officials, spectators, parents, carers and players are circulated to all members each year on registration, and are published on the Club’s website.
6 - CLUB MEMBERSHIP
- Anyone who wishes to be a member must complete a Membership and Consent Form. Membership is at the discretion of the Club Committee. An appeal against refusal can be made to the Club Committee. Membership will become effective upon an applicant’s name being entered in the Membership Register and their membership fee being paid.
- In the event of a member’s resignation or expulsion, his or her name will be removed from the Membership Register.
- The Football Association and parent County Association will be given access to the Membership Register on demand.
7 - MEMBERSHIP FEES & SUBSCRIPTIONS
- An Annual fee payable by each member will be determined from time to time by the Club Committee. Any fee will be payable on a successful application for membership and annually by each member.
- Normally, initial payment of the membership fee must be made before the start of the playing season and no later than the first League game of the current playing season. If a player joins the club after the season has commenced, the membership fee shall be paid in full. ALL CLUB DOCUMENTATION must be completed by a player signing for the Club prior to the player being eligible to play in an organised fixture
- The Club Committee will have the authority to change monthly subscriptions from the members as are reasonably necessary to fulfill the objectives of the Club.
- The rate of subscriptions for the current year will be determined at the Annual General Meeting, on the recommendation of the Committee, and must be paid by Direct Debit each month.
- No refund will be due should a member (player) be expelled from the Club.
8 - RESIGNATIONS AND EXPULSION
- A member will cease to be a member of the Club if, and from the date on which he/she gives notice to the Club Committee of their resignation. A member whose annual membership fee or further subscription is more than 2 months in arrears shall be deemed to have resigned. Should an adult member, parent, or guardian associated with the Club be found guilty of misconduct by its respective County FA (Hampshire) they will be solely responsible for the payment of any fine(s) imposed. Members must read and abide by their respective Code of Conducts. Sanctions will be placed upon members in accordance with the Codes where it is proven a breach of the Codes has occurred.
- The Club Committee will have the power to expel a member when, in their opinion, it would not be in the interests of the Club for them to remain a member. An appeal against such a decision can be made to the Club Committee via the Club Secretary who will set up an appeal hearing to include 3 members of the management committee. Decisions taken by the management appeal committee will be final and not open to further appeals from within the Club.
- A member who resigns or is expelled shall not be entitled to claim any, or a share of any, of the Club Property.
9 - MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OFFICERS
- The Administration of the Club shall be organised by the following officials (known collectively as the Committee):
i. The Chairman
iii. Youth Football Development Officer
Non Executive Roles
v. Mini Soccer Coordinator
vi. Youth Soccer Coordinator
vii. Child Welfare Officer
viii. Tournament Coordinator
ix. Assistant Development Officer/s
x. Media Secretary
xi. Assistant Secretary/s
- The Committee will be chaired by the Chairman or, in their absence, the Secretary. The members of the Executive Committee will be elected at the Annual General Meeting and only in exceptional circumstances be able to hold no more than one position on the Committee. Non Executive Roles are appointed by the Committee.
- Any member of the Club is eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
- Nominations for election to any role on the Executive Committee shall be made in writing to the Secretary with a short written statement, and seconded by another member of the Club, by a deadline provided by the Secretary on publication of the agenda for the Annual General Meeting.
- Members of the Executive Committee shall remain in post for a period of one year and are eligible for re-election each year. Incumbent Executive Committee members are encouraged to indicate their intention to stand for re-election prior to the publication of the agenda for the Annual General Meeting.
- Voting for Executive Committee positions will be open to all teams within the Club (one vote per team), with that vote representing the wishes of their members. Votes can be entered remotely (via email) once the closing date for nomination has passed, or in person at the AGM itself.
- Decisions of the Committee of meetings will be entered into the Minute Book of the Club to be maintained by the Secretary.
- Any member of the Committee may call a meeting of the Committee by giving not less than 7 days’ notice to all members of the Committee. The Committee will hold not less than four meetings a year.
- An outgoing member of the Committee may be re-elected. Any vacancy on the Committee, which arises between Annual General Meetings, shall be filled by a member proposed by one and seconded by another of the remaining Committee members and approved by a simple majority of the remaining Committee members.
- Save as provided for in the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association and the County Association to which the Club is affiliated, the Committee shall have the power to decide all questions and disputes arising in respect of any issue concerning the Club Rules.
- A Quorum shall represent 51% of those elected to the Executive Committee, with the Chairman having the casting vote in the case of an even division.
- To protect the standing and good regard of the Club NO representative of the Club should enter into verbal or written correspondence with their respective Leagues or the Hampshire FA over any matter other than matters pertaining to the weekly running of their team, i.e.; Referees, fixtures and results, except where raising or responding to agenda items and participating at official League meetings without prior discussion with a management committee member who may be able to advise on the matter.
10 - DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE
To promote the objectives of the Club (rule 2) to the best of their ability and organise any activities which they consider will further this aim, including Fundraising and affiliation to any other appropriate Club or Society.
11 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- This will normally be held in June or July of each year at such a time and place, as the Committee will appoint. The Secretary will give a minimum of 14 days notice of the place, time and date of the meeting together with the agenda.
- Proposed alterations to the Constitution and proposed rate of subscriptions shall be circulated with the agenda and items of Any Other Business should be notified to the Secretary in writing no later than seven days before the meeting.
- Matters attended to at the Annual General Meeting shall include:
i. The minutes of the previous year's AGM
ii. The consideration of the past year's financial statements
iii. Election of the Committee
iv. Alteration to the Constitution
v. Rate of Subscriptions
vi. Any other business, as requested by the Committee or Club member
- The Chairman will have the casting vote should there be an equal division.
- The Secretary, or in their absence a member of the Club Committee, will record minutes of General Meetings.
12 - EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS
- The Club Secretary will summon a special meeting of the Club Members on receiving a petition signed by a minimum of 30% of teams and stating the subject matter to be discussed, or by the Committee itself.
- The Secretary will give 14 days’ notice of the place, time and date of the meeting together with an agenda.
13 - CLUB ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
- The assets of the Club are invested in the players, but no member individually will be responsible for any Club liabilities, beyond the payment of his own subscription and any other Club fees.
- The Club will always be run on a positive cash flow system and will only cease after an Extraordinary Meeting or Annual General Meeting decided by the Membership.
14 - DISSOLUTION
- A resolution to dissolve the Club will only be proposed at a General Meeting and will be carried by a majority of at least three-quarters of the members present.
- The dissolution will take effect from the date of the resolution and the members of the Club Committee will be responsible for the winding up of the assets and liabilities of the Club.
- Any surplus assets remaining after the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the Club will be transferred to the parent Association who will determine how the assets shall be utilised for the benefit of the game. Alternatively, such assets may be disposed of in such other manner as the members of the Club with the consent of the parent Association will determine.
15 - CLUB FINANCES
- A bank account shall be opened and maintained in the name of the Club (the Club Account. All monies payable to the Club shall be received by the Treasurer and deposited in the Club Account.
- The income and assets of the Club (the Club Property) will be applied only in furtherance of the objects of the Club. The distribution of profits or proceeds arising from the sale of Club Property to members is prohibited.
- The Club Committee will have power to authorise the payment of remuneration and expenses to any member of the Club and to any other person or persons for services rendered to the Club.
- The Club will prepare an annual Financial Statement in such form as will be published by The Football Association from time to time.
16 - TEAM MANAGERS
- All team managers are appointed by the Youth Committee, and details of the appointment process are available from the Club Secretary.
- All Managers/Coaches will be required to complete the FA Level 1 Coaching Qualification within 12 months of joining the Club for which full payment of costs will be met by the Club; 50% upon completion of the Course and the remainder after 12 months service to the club.
- The Club will also support full or part payment of Managers/Coaches wishing to undertake further qualifications at its discretion.
- The Club fully recognises the need to develop its Managers/Coaches thus enabling the Players to develop accordingly.
- All team managers as part of their appointment will be required to undertake include the mandatory training in relation to Emergency First Aid and Safeguarding, and to obtain a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (via the Club’s Child Welfare Officer).
17 - COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
- Parent/Player complaint
i. Any formal complaint raised by either a parent or a player regarding another parent, player or Club Official should normally be addressed to the Manager of the child’s team in the first instance who will endeavor to resolve the complaint. If the complaint concerns the manager themselves, clause iv. below applies.
ii. If the Manager does not feel able to deal with the complaint internally, then the complaint will be dealt with by the Club Committee as detailed in Section 9.
iii. In some cases, if the Committee feels that the complaint to be of a serious nature then advice will be sought from the relevant league body or The Hampshire FA Ltd.
iv. If the Parent/Player is not satisfied with the decision of the team Manager, then details of the complaint should be made, in writing, to the Secretary who will convene an Emergency/Special Meeting of the Committee to resolve the complaint.
- Manager’s Complaint
i. If the Manager has an issue with a Player which they have been unable to resolve through discussion between themselves then that player's parents or guardians will be informed.
ii. If a problem arises with a Parent then the Manager will normally seek to initially address the individual concerned.
iii. At all times the Manager will endeavor to speak with either parent or player confidentially.
iv. If the Manager does not feel able to deal with the complaint, then the matter will be dealt with by the Club Committee as detailed in Section 9.
v. In some cases, if the Committee feels that the complaint to be of a serious nature then advice will be sought from the relevant league body or The Hampshire FA Ltd.
vi. Any formal complaint regarding an opposing team must be immediately reported to the Secretary who will discuss and, if they feel it is appropriate, forward this matter to the appropriate club, the relevant league body or The Hampshire FA Ltd.
- Committee Complaint
i. If, at any time, a complaint is made against a Committee Member then this matter must be dealt with by the Chairman.
ii. In some cases, if the Chairman feels that the complaint to be of a serious nature then advice will be sought from other key committee members, the relevant league body or The Hampshire FA Ltd.
iii. If the complaint is against the Chairman, then the matter will be dealt with by the rest of the Committee, via the Club Secretary.
- Other Party Complaint
i. If any complaint is received from persons who are not Club Members then it will be referred by the Secretary to the individual concerned for an explanation of events leading to the complaint.
ii. This explanation should be made, in writing, to the Secretary within 48 hours.
iii. The Secretary will convene an Emergency/Special Meeting of the Committee to ensure that the Club is able to respond to the complaint within the necessary time scale required by the League or the complainant.
- Complaints involving Child Safety/Welfare
i. Complaints of a sensitive nature involving allegations of Child Abuse/Child safety or any Child concerns must be brought to the attention of the Child Welfare Officer (CWO) in the most confidential manner by either a verbal or written communication.
ii. Should an issue be raised in the form of verbal communication it must be followed up in writing within 48 hours. No other club members or committee members are to be informed. The (CWO) will decide what action is to be taken based on the information received by the complainant.
If, at any time, any person involved with AFC Portchester has a concern regarding the safety of any child they are encouraged to speak with the Child Welfare Officer in the strictest of confidence and no other party. Complaints of this nature will be dealt with under the direction of the (CWO) who may if required consult with senior Committee members of the Club.
18 - APPROVAL AND REVIEW
The Club’s Constitution and Rules shall be reviewed annually by the Committee or earlier if indicated by the Committee or required by the rules and regulation of the Football Association, Hampshire FA and/or leagues to which the Club. The document should be ratified by the Club at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting, as required.
19 - PUBLICATION
The Club’s Constitution and Rules shall be published on the Club’s website and circulated to all new members on joining the Club.
Signed Phil Jeynes
Chairman AFC Portchester Youth
Date – July 2017