BT Community FC: Election of Board members
Over the weekend papers have been dispatched by e-mail for the nomination of Board Members, where an e-mail address is held. There is a nomination/candidate statement form (candidates to be nominated by two Community club members) and policies relating to the elections and board membership, based upon Supporters Direct good practice policies.
Where e-mail addresses are not usable, papers will be sent by post.
24 October – Deadline for receipt of nomination forms with candidate statements
2 November – Candidate statements issued to members with ballot papers
29 November (4pm) – Deadline for receipt of completed ballot papers by e-mail/post. Ballot papers may be submitted at the Community Club meeting at 7pm on the evening of 29 November.
Overseeing the process
The process will be overseen by an Election Management Group, comprising an Independent Chairman, Paul Ellix (until recently Chairman of Supporters Trust at Reading) and Community Club members, Revd Ken Batt and Matt Warmington.
If you are not a Member it is still not too late to register using the button on the website.
Please click on the tabs below to read the election policy and the Board membership and conduct policy:
This election policy has been adopted from the model developed by Supporters Direct. There is only one substantive change from that model; in paragraph 6.3 the number of words in candidate statements is restricted to 200 (rather than a minimum of 400 and a maximum of 1,000 in the model policy), in the interests of ensuring sufficient candidates come forward and ensuring that the process is not dominated by wordy and unwieldy documents. In the advice issued by the board, there will be guidance on what is expected in a statement.
It is for the board to decide how many board members are required. While the constitution permits 10, the board’s agreed view was that 8 was an optimum number before the strategic running of the community club becomes unwieldy. It has to be remembered that the board can co-opt people with the necessary skills in addition to the elected members and that much of the board’s effective business falls to be conducted by sub committees bringing forward actions for the board’s approval.
1.1. This document is drafted in accordance with the existing rules of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club Limited and the best practice guidance issued by Supporters Direct. The purpose of the Election Policy is to ensure that the elections for the Community/Society Board members are conducted in a democratic and unbiased manner and the process and results are accepted as free and fair by all participants.
2.1 “AGM” means the annual general meeting of the Society/Community Club.
2.2 “Election Period” means the period from the date each year on which the Secretary issues nomination forms to Members until 3 days after the announcement of the result of the election to which the nomination forms relate.
2.3 “Member(s)” means a member(s) of the Society.
2.4 “Society Board Member(s)” means an elected or Co-opted Member(s) of the Community Club/Society. The term ‘Society’ is interchangeable with the term ‘Community Club’
2.5 “Election Policy” means the terms and conditions laid out in this document.
2.6 “EMG” means the Election Management Group.
2.7 “Board Membership and Conduct Policy” means a detailed set of rules and regulations of the Society set out in a separate policy statement.
2.8 “Co-opted Member(s)” means a person(s) who has/have been elected to the Society Board by Society Board Members but not elected by the Members.
2.9 “Indictable Offence” means a criminal offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) for dishonesty, fraud or dealing in drugs.
2.10 “Rules” means the rules and regulations of the Society laid out in the separate Rules document
2.11 “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Society.
2.12 “Society” means the registered Community Club formed on the basis of one member, one vote.
2.13 “Society Board means the elected Board of the Society including any co-opted Society Board Members.
- Election control
3.1. In advance of the commencement of the election, the Society Board will appoint members of the Society (who with the exception of the Secretary may not include serving Society board members) to form the EMG. This group shall be chaired by an independent person who is not a member of the Society. The Secretary may be a member of this group. In the event that it is not possible to agree the identity of the Independent chair, Supporters Direct will select the Independent chair.
3.2. No members of the Society Board whose positions are due to be offered for election shall play any part in determining the composition of the EMG or any aspect regarding the conduct of the elections.
3.3. Members of the EMG shall not be eligible to nominate candidates nor be a candidate themselves and shall ensure that they are not associated closely with any candidates and have proper regard to maintaining the integrity of the election process.
3.4. During the Election Period the EMG will ensure that the election is run in accordance with this policy.
3.5. The EMG shall make the final decision as the eligibility of candidates, nominations and valid votes. They shall conduct the count and the result, as determined by them is final. Any decisions taken will be by majority vote and recorded. The Chair of the EMG shall have a casting vote in the event of a tie.
4.1. The AGM will take place within the period laid down in the Society’s Rules and the exact date shall be decided by the Society Board by the end of the preceding financial year.
4.2. The Board shall agree the number of vacancies to be elected. If the numbers to be elected differs from the numbers elected in previous years, or changes the number of places to be elected in total on the Society Board, then the reasons why the change has been made shall be communicated to members in the form soliciting nominations.
4.3. The Secretary will circulate a nomination form with advance notice of the AGM at least eight weeks before the AGM.
4.4. The Society Board shall ensure that the membership of the EMG has been agreed by the Society Board before the Secretary circulates nominations forms.
4.5. During the Election Period, the EMG shall manage the process, with the assistance of the Secretary as required.
- Nominations and eligibility
5.1. Any person wishing to be a candidate for election to the Society Board must be a fully paid-up member of the Society and be nominated by at least two fully paid-up members of the Society.
5.2. The EMG will verify that nominations are from members of the Society. Society members can nominate as many candidates as they wish.
5.3. A signed letter of nomination from a member, or email from the address a member has given the Secretary for receiving Society communications, are acceptable substitutes for a signature on the candidate’s nomination form.
5.4. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that their nomination is valid and submitted in accordance with the election timetable. In order to ensure that candidates can confirm the validity of their nominees, the EMG and Secretary should arrange for candidates to be able to check in advance whether those nominating them are fully paid-up members.
5.5. Decisions over the validity of nominations shall be a matter for the EMG having due regard for the Secretary’s assessment of the membership status of an individual nominating a candidate. Any decision by the EMG not to accept a nomination as valid should be notified to the candidate as soon as possible in order that the situation may be rectified or an appeal heard.
5.6. Candidates must also submit a statement in support of their nomination and may also submit a photograph for publication with their statement (see section 6 below for more details).
5.7. The names of those nominating candidates shall be appended to each candidate’s statement.
5.8. By submitting a nomination, Candidates will be deemed to have accepted this Election Policy, the Society’s Rules, and any other policies and rules adopted by the Society Board and the membership and agreed to be bound by them.
5.9. Specifically, candidates are also self-certifying that they comply with the Society Rules and Board Membership and Conduct Policy relating to eligibility to serve on the Board. In particular, no person can be a member of the Society Board:
- (with the exception of Co-opted Members co-opted onto the Society Board under Rule  of the Rules) who ceases to be a Member of the Society;
- who has been a member of the Board for 12 consecutive years;
- who is subject to a bankruptcy order or has in place a composition with his/her creditors;
- who is subject to a disqualification order made under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
- fails to abide by any rules for the conduct of elections made by the Society Board.
- who has a conviction for an indictable offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974);
- in relation to whom a registered medical practitioner who is treating them gives a written opinion to the Society stating that they have become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a Director and may remain so for more than three months;
- in relation to whom by reason of their mental health, a court makes an order which wholly or partly prevents them from personally exercising any powers or rights which that person would otherwise have;
5.10. All candidates shall leave full contact details with the EMG including email address
- Statements and Campaigning
6.1. Campaigning under the auspices of the Society will be restricted to the statements submitted by the candidates and to any hustings organised by the Society.
6.2. All candidates’ statements are to be sent by email to the relevant members of the EMG. These will be gathered together and issued with the ballot papers, and include the photograph (if submitted) of the candidate and a list of the members who have nominated them.
6.3. Candidate statements should be concise and readily digestible and no more 200 words long. The statement should be directed at what skills, experience and qualities the candidate brings to the role. If a candidate’s statement has more 200 words, it will be truncated and text will be inserted below stating “The candidate’s statement has exceeded the permitted amount and has therefore been truncated”. The number of words counted shall be decided using Microsoft Word.
6.4. Candidates shall not in their statements make threats, insults or derogatory, abusive, racist, sexist or homophobic statements. The EMG will reserve the right to edit any statement to ensure that it does not breach these rules.
6.5. In agreeing to be nominated and so accepting this Policy, candidates shall agree to indemnify the Society for the cost of meeting any liability of the Society that may arise as a result of the contents of their statement.
6.6. During the election neither the EMG nor the Society Board may provide advice to voting members as to the suitability of any candidate nor issue any voting advice to members collectively. Individual Society board members who indicate a preference in public must make it clear that they do not speak on behalf of the Society board and express a purely personal opinion.
7.1. Candidates or complainants shall raise matters with the EMG whose decision is final.
7.2. Complaints after voting has closed shall be made to the EMG not later than three working days after the close of poll. Any complaint received after this date shall be ruled out of order.
7.3. If any candidate should contravene the Election Policy, the EMG shall judge whether a disqualification should apply and their decision is final.
7.4. Any appeal against the decision of the EMG shall be made through and governed by the disputes procedure as set out in the Society Rules.
8.1. If there are more candidates than places available on the Society Board
8.1.1 If Hustings are held before the AGM, the following procedure shall be followed;
188.8.131.52 The EMG will issue postal ballot papers and copies of candidates’ statements with the notice sent convening the AGM.
184.108.40.206 Votes may be submitted by the post up to the day of the AGM, and also deposited at the start of the AGM. The Count shall be made during the AGM, and the result announced before the close of the AGM.
8.1.2 If Hustings are held at the AGM
220.127.116.11 The EMG shall arrange for candidates to address the AGM and field questions from the floor. The EMG will then issue postal ballot papers and copies of candidates’ statements. Votes shall then either be deposited at the AGM or posted to the Secretary to be received no later than [ ] days after the AGM.
18.104.22.168 The election result shall be announced within 4 weeks of the date of the AGM starting
8.2 The highest placed candidates in terms of total votes as equal to number of places available for election declared by the Board shall be deemed elected. If there are as many or fewer candidates than there are places, an affirmative ballot shall be held at the AGM. Each successfully nominated candidate will be put before the meeting for the approval of members. Any candidate not receiving the support of more than half of those present in person and by proxy shall be deemed to have not been elected. The exception shall be that should the failure to elect any of the validly nominated candidates leave the Board below the minimum required under the Rules for them to act, all validly nominated candidates shall be deemed elected by the EMG and this declared at the AGM.
8.3 The result shall be communicated to members on the Society’s website and in the Society’s newsletter (if they have one) and at the AGM or next members’ meeting (if it is possible to complete the count at the AGM in question).
8.4 Successful candidates shall become full members of the Society Board upon receipt of their signed acceptance of the Board Membership and Conduct Policy. The Society Secretary will issue the Board Membership and Conduct Policy to the successful candidates upon the result of the election and should any successful candidate not return the Board Membership and Conduct Policy duly signed in whichever way the Secretary asks for it to be returned within one calendar month, without an acceptable reason for the lateness in returning the document, the election of that candidate will be declared null and void and a vacant position will be created. For the avoidance of doubt, the onus for returning the signed Board Membership and Conduct Policy shall be on the successful candidate not the Society Secretary.
BOARD MEMBERSHIP AND CONDUCT POLICY
This document is drafted in accordance with the existing rules of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club Limited and sets out the Board Membership and Conduct Policy adopted by the Community Club / Society Board inline with a model provided by Supporters Direct. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:
1.1 the Community Club/Society Board has the skills and experience which it needs to operate effectively;
- the interests of the community served by the Society are adequately represented;
1.3 the level of representation of different groups on the Society Board strikes an appropriate balance having regard to their legitimate interest in the Society’s affairs; and
1.4 the Board operates in an effective and professional way.
2.1 “AGM” means the annual general meeting of the Society.
2.2 “Disciplinary Offence” means an Indictable Offence and/or offences described as a Disciplinary Offence in paragraphs 5.3, 7.7, 9.2 and 11.5 of this Board Membership and Conduct Policy
2.3 “Member(s)” means a member(s) of the Society.
2.4 “Society Board Member(s)” means a Member(s) of the Society Board including any persons co-opted onto the Society Board in accordance with the Rules.
2.5 “Election Policy” means a detailed set of rules and regulations of the Society set out in a separate policy statement.
2.6 “Board Membership and Conduct Policy” means the terms and conditions laid out in this document.
2.7 “Co-opted Member(s)” means a person(s) who and has/have been elected to the Society Board by Board Directors but not elected by the Members.
2.8 “Indictable Offence” means a criminal offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) for dishonesty, fraud or dealing in drugs.
2.9 “Rules” means the rules and regulations of the Society laid out in the separate Rules document.
2.10 “Secretary” means the secretary of the Society.
2.11 “Treasurer” means the elected treasurer of the Society.
2.12 “Society” means Basingstoke Town Community Football Club Limited
2.13 “Society Board” means the elected Board of the Society including any co-opted Society Board Members.
3.0 Election of members
3.1 The Society Board shall comprise not more than 10 Society Board Members. For the initial election to the Board 8 posts are available for election.
3.2 Eight weeks before the AGM in each year the Secretary shall invite nominations for candidates to replace those elected members of the Society Board who are resigning at the AGM and/or to increase the number of Board Directors subject to the provisions of above
3.3 Elections shall be governed in accordance with the Election Policy.
- Co-opted members
4.1 The Board shall have power to co-opt up to 4. additional Society Board Members at its discretion. Co-opted Members may be co-opted to either fill a casual vacancy on the Society Board in accordance with Rule 66 of the Rules or as external directors in accordance with Rule 67 of the Rules. Co-opted Members may have a specialist knowledge or specific skills required or attributes which the elected Board members feel would be beneficial to have on the Board. Also Members may be co-opted on the basis of their ability to fill those roles on the Board which remain vacant at any one time to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Society are met provided that elected Board Directors are not outnumbered by Co-opted Members.
4.2 The co-option of an additional Society Board Member shall be by resolution at any meeting of the Society Board at which two thirds of those present vote in favour. Co-opted Members of the Society Board will serve until the next AGM and may then either stand for election to the Society Board or seek a further period of co-option.
4.3 Co-opted Board members may not serve on a disciplinary committee
5.0 Principles of Board Membership
5.1 All members of the Society Board, whether elected or otherwise, must be members of the Society and in exercising their duty must at all times have in mind the aims and objectives of the Society.
5.2 With the exception of Co-opted Members co-opted onto the Society Board under Rule 67 of the Rules, all members of the Society Board must abide by decisions of the majority of them and take all such steps as are necessary or desirable to give effect to such decisions. Society Board members are expected to adhere to the principles of collective responsibility.
5.3 In particular, It shall be considered a disciplinary offence for a Society Board member to publicly criticise or to otherwise undermine any decision or policy of the Board.
5.4 It is expected that once decisions have been made by the Board, members in disagreement with them accept the decision as the settled view of the Board, with items already determined only being reconsidered in the light of new information or significantly changed circumstances.
5.5 The Society Board may by majority vote determine that Society Board members are not bound by collective responsibility in respect of any particular matter in which case the above shall not apply.
5.6 Society Board members shall not act in any way calculated to bring the Society into disrepute.
5.7 The Society shall maintain in force bank mandates which require that any cheque issued by the Society must bear the signature of two Society Board members.
5.8 No person can be a member of the Board:
5.8.1 (with the exception of Co-opted Members, co-opted onto the Society Board under rule  of the Rules) who ceases to be a Member of the Society
5.8.2 who has been a member of the Board for 12 consecutive years
5.8.3 who is subject to a bankruptcy order or has in place a composition with their creditors;
5.8.4 who is subject to a disqualification order made under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
5.8.5 who fails to abide by any rules for the conduct of elections made by the Board;
5.8.6 who is removed from office in accordance with the disciplinary process set out in paragraph 6 below;
5.8.7 in relation to whom a registered medical practitioner who is treating them gives a written opinion to the Society stating that they have become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a Director and may remain so for more than three months;
5.8.8 in relation to whom by reason of their mental health, a court makes an order which wholly or partly prevents them from personally exercising any powers or rights which they would otherwise have;
5.9 Any member of the Board who:
5.9.1 ceases to comply with the criteria set out in this Board Membership and Conduct Policy; or
5.9.2 (with the exception of Co-opted Members co-opted onto the Society Board under Rule 67 of the Rules) ceases to be a Member; or
is to vacate the office of Board member
5.10 Any member of the Board who
5.10.1 fails without good cause to attend 3 consecutive Board meetings; or
5.10.2 fails without good cause to participate in board training
is to vacate the office of Board member if required to do so by a majority of the other Board members.
6.0 Disciplinary Process
6.1 Where any Board member is deemed by a majority of the Board to have committed a Disciplinary Offence as defined in this document or has otherwise acted in a way which a majority of the Board believe is in contrast to the spirit of this document or the Rules, they shall be at liberty to constitute a Disciplinary Committee (“the Disciplinary Committee”) to determine the facts and take such measures as the committee sees fit. If the Board decides to constitute a Disciplinary Committee the Board Member(s) concerned will be suspended until the Disciplinary Committee meets and shall not be entitled to vote nor attend Board meetings for the period of suspension
6.2 The Disciplinary Committee will consist of the then Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board unless one or both of them is the subject of the disciplinary action, in which case another member of the Board will be selected by the Board as Chair of the Committee and he/she shall have the casting vote if necessary. In addition up to 3 but no less than 2 other Board members (who shall not be the subject of the disciplinary action) shall sit on the Disciplinary Committee.
6.3 Either the Society Board or the members who are the subject of the hearing may request for an independent member to join the Committee. The Independent member will be selected on the basis of mutual agreement, and shall for the avoidance of doubt not be someone who has served with any of the subjects of the hearing on any board or committee and shall ideally not be a member of the Society itself.
6.4 In the event that it is not possible to agree the identity of the Independent member, Supporters Direct will select the Independent member.
6.5 All incidental expenses for Independent members shall be met by the Society.
6.6 The Disciplinary Committee shall meet as soon as is practicable (where possible within 7 days) after the Board meeting which constituted the Disciplinary Committee and shall invite the member concerned to attend or submit his/her version of events and/or mitigating circumstances. The Disciplinary Committee shall act honestly and equitably in assessing the facts of the disciplinary case before it and may impose such sanction as it sees fit, including for example, dismissal; further suspension to allow more facts to be gathered, after which a further meeting of the Disciplinary Committee shall be held; censure or warning. If appropriate the Disciplinary Committee may choose to impose no sanction. If the member concerned fails to either attend or submit his or her version of events and/or mitigating circumstances as envisaged above the Disciplinary Committee can proceed and make such inferences as it sees fit from such non-attendance or non-submission.
6.7 The Board member subject to the disciplinary hearing may appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee within 7 days of being notified of the decision. The appeal must be made to the Society secretary who shall contact Supporters Direct who shall appoint an independent organisation such as Co-operatives UK whose decision will be binding on all parties. The appeal will take place as soon as possible after the member concerned has requested it, and no later than 28 days following the date of receipt of the appeal. As the Independent organisation is independent of the Society there will be no further right of appeal by any party.
6.8 The final decision will be communicated to members only after the conclusion of the appeal, or when the date for the lodging of an appeal has passed without such appeal being lodged. The Secretary will be responsible for communicating the decision, and no members of the disciplinary committee shall make any comment about the proceedings publicly.
7.0 Board Procedure
7.1 The newly elected Board (after each AGM and not merely the first AGM) shall meet to select from amongst themselves a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Treasurer and a head for such sub-committees as the Board shall determine from time to time, having due regard to the roles and responsibilities prescribed for each of the positions and the skills and abilities of the members of the newly elected Board. The Society Secretary shall be appointed by the Society Board. As soon as practicable the names and roles of the new Board should be posted on the Society’s website and sent out to members.
7.2 Society Board Members will normally serve for periods of 3 years in accordance with this Board Membership and Conduct Policy after which time they may stand for re-election. Co-opted Society Board members may be re-appointed for a further period subject to the Rules and this Board Membership and Conduct Policy.
7.3 At the second annual general meeting of the Society a third of the members of the Board first elected by the members (to be chosen by lot) will resign from office. Thereafter the third of the members of the Board elected by the members who have served the longest at the date of the annual general meeting each year will resign. If at any time there is an uneven number of elected directors, the Board shall decide the number of elected directors to resign in accordance with this paragraph, which shall be approximately third of the total number.
7.4 Vacancies arising amongst the Society Board Members elected by the members will be dealt with as follows.
7.4.1 If a vacancy caused by retirement or removal is not filled at the general meeting at which they retire or are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the Board
7.4.2 A vacancy occurring by death or resignation may be filled by the Board.
7.4.3 In each case the member appointed to fill the vacancy is to retire at the next annual general meeting and the Board will make provision for an election to be held. For the avoidance of doubt the retiring member may stand for re-election at the meeting at which they retire.
7.5 With the exception of Co-opted Members co-opted onto the Society Board under Rule 67 of the Rules, Society Board Members will not receive any payment for serving on the Society Board other than the payment of expenses incurred in carrying out their duties.
7.6 All information held by the Society is subject to the Confidentiality principles set out below. Any Board member collecting details of new members must ensure that they forward all the correct information and monies to the secretary or a nominated person.
7.7 Society Board Member(s) must not arrange for or accept any undue or improper favours, match tickets or gifts from members of staff at any Sporting Club for personal gain. A breach of this rule is a Disciplinary Offence.
8.0 Declaration of Interest
A Director shall declare an interest in any contract or matter in which s/he has a personal, material or financial interest, whether directly or indirectly, and shall not vote in respect of such contract or matter, provided that nothing shall prevent a Member voting in respect of her/his terms and conditions of employment or any associated matter. A breach of this rule will result a disciplinary procedure.
9.0 Confidentiality and Collective Responsibility
9.1 Members of the Board acknowledge that discussions at Society Board Meetings are strictly confidential save where expressly stated not to be, and save for official reports of meetings, such as publication of approved minutes. With the exception of those circumstances set out below, all Board members shall keep all such discussions or information strictly private and confidential.
9.2 The confidentiality provisions shall not apply where a Board member is asked to co-operate with any statutory or regulatory body and should not stifle due and proper debate on issues within the confines of Board meetings or discussions between Board members conducted in confidence.
For the avoidance of doubt the confidentiality provisions above remain in force even after a member is no longer serving on the Society Board. Breach of the confidentiality provisions is a Disciplinary Offence.
9.3 Only persons authorised by the Society Board may act as spokespersons for the Society. Society Board Members who are not authorised as spokespersons have a duty to ensure that their public statements (including on electronic media) do not conflict with the policy agreed by the Society Board.
9.4 Where a Society Board Member is also a director or officer of a separate company or corporate entity in which the Society has an interest (“the other company”), that Society Board Member shall be bound by the duty of confidentiality to the Society and to the other company. It shall be the duty of the Society Board to put in place:
9.4.1 arrangements for the transmission of information between the Society and the other company; and
9.4.2 a statement of the duties of the Society Board Member within those arrangements.
9.5 A person who ceases to be a Society Board Member shall as soon as reasonably possible return to the Society Board all documents and electronic records held by that Society Board Member which have been held in conjunction with that person’s duties as a Society Board Member. Should those effects be not returned, the Society is authorised to involve outside agencies to secure their recovery, up to and including considering the failure to return such effects as unlawful possession of the Society’s property.
10.1 The Society Board shall elect from among their own number a chair, treasurer and such other officers as they may from time to time decide. These officers shall have such duties and rights as may be bestowed on them by the Society Board or by statute and any officer appointed may be removed by the Society Board. A serving officer who is not re-elected to the Society Board at the annual general meeting shall nevertheless continue to perform interim duties solely to ensure normal administrative functions are undertaken to maintain the Society’s operations until the first Society Board meeting following the annual general meeting when a successor can be appointed. For the avoidance of doubt; they should have no role in any substantive actions and all parties with whom they deal in this period should be advised as to this situation.
UPDATE – The deadline for receipt of nomination forms with candidate statements is approaching. Completed candidate statements (no more than 200 words), endorsed by two members of BTCFC, must be received by 24 October, by 4pm. Forms need to be returned either by email or post to Steve Williams, BTCFC Secretary. This can be done via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to 77 Overton Hill, Overton , Basingstoke RG25 3PE.