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'Provisional' Constitution of Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association

Please Note: This is the final draft of a 'provisional constitution only' which has been put into place to represent the core principals of Walsall FC DSA and will be put before the members at the first AGM on Wednesday 5th September 2018 for their approval.

Supporting documentation and accompanying side policies are currently being drafted, and along with copies of the provisional constitution, will be emailed to all members (where a valid email address has been provided), and made available through this website.

Provisionally adopted: 14th April 2018
Amended: 13th June 2018
Amended: 26th June 2018
Provisionally adopted: 27th June 2018

1.0 NAME:

1.1 The name of the association is Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association (from herein referred to as ‘the DSA’).

.2 The name of the club is Walsall Football Club, Limited (The), and (from herein referred to as ‘WFC’).

2.0 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

2.1 The main aims and objectives of the DSA are:-

2.1.1 The represent and campaign for all disabled supporters of WFC and visiting clubs and to liaise with WFC.

2.1.2 To help facilitate a positive match day experience.

2.1.3 To promote an interest in attending live WFC matches and other events and activities associated with WFC.

2.1.4 To create a social and community focus and to promote the DSA within the wider community.

2.1.5 To develop, encourage and maintain links with other DSA’s and similar bodies.

2.2 The DSA Management Committee (from herein referred to as the ‘MC’), may at its own discretion adopt additional aims and objectives providing they do not supersede those noted above.

3.0 MEMBERSHIP:

3.1 Membership is open to any disabled person or other individual who feels they may be able to contribute to the aims and objectives of the DSA and support disabled supporters.

3.2 Honorary Membership may only be proposed and awarded by majority vote of the MC.

3.3 Membership Applications will be confirmed by Chair, Vice Chair or Secretary and ratified at the next MC meeting.

3.4 In the event that an application to join the DSA is refused by the Chair, Vice Chair or Secretary, the applicant may appeal in writing within 28 days and the MC will decide by majority vote whether to accept or refuse the membership application. Refused Applicants will have the right to be heard, to appeal the decision, or to call an EGM (in accordance with paragraph 10.10) to challenge any such decision and an independent arbitrator may be called upon to give advice in difficult cases.

3.5 Membership with the DSA is free for life, unless a member resigns or their membership is terminated. The MC reserves the right to introduce membership fees at the AGM by majority vote should it be required in order to maintain the financial stability of the DSA. The level of fees shall be decided by majority vote at the AGM and will be annual from 1st Jan to 31st Dec each year.

3.5.1 Any member may resign their membership with the DSA at any time by writing to the Secretary of the MC. Under no circumstances will membership fees (if applicable, in part or full) be deemed refundable.

3.6 Members may be subject to disciplinary action, or have their membership terminated if it is deemed that he or she has brought the DSA into disrepute, or that their continued membership is not in the interests of the DSA. Disciplinary action and any termination of membership will be dealt with by the MC in accordance to the Disciplinary Policy.

3.6.1 In the case of a disciplinary action, the MC shall inform the member in writing and allow 28 days for him or her to make representation. If on consideration of any explanation, or in its absence within the permitted 28 days, the MC shall decide that membership shall cease and that the member subject to said disciplinary action, will be informed in writing of the decision.

3.6.2 A member will have the right to be heard, to appeal the decision, or to call an EGM (in accordance with paragraph 10.10) to challenge any such decision and an independent arbitrator may be called upon to give advice in difficult cases.

3.7 Any costs arising from disputes brought by individuals, groups, organisations, businesses or similar will be the responsibility of those raising the dispute.

3.8 Application for membership shall be taken as evidence that the applicant agrees to the Constitution of the DSA (this document) and it’s supporting documents or policies.

3.9 Members names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses will be recorded in a members register and held by the Secretary of the MC for administration purposes only. Under no circumstances will any personal information be made available to, passed on to, traded with, or sold to any third party in accordance with our Privacy Policy, and in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), unless the DSA is required to do so by law.

4.0 DISCIPLINE:  

4.1 Any member of the DSA, or any legitimate authority, may complain in writing to the MC about the behaviour of any member(s) who appears to be abusive, disruptive, violent, threatening, or who appears to bring the DSA or WFC into disrepute, or is in breach of the Constitution of the DSA (this document) and it’s supporting documents or policies.

4.1.1 The MC has the right to suspend or expel any member of the DSA that has been deemed by the MC to have brought the DSA into disrepute.

4.2 In the event of a complaint being made against any member of the DSA, it shall be heard within 28 days by the MC, who shall accept a written statement, or allow an oral hearing from both the complainant and the member who is the subject of the complaint. The MC may then take the following actions after suitable inquiry and reports from both the member towards whom the complaint was made, and any witness(s):-

4.2.1 Reject the complaint.

4.2.2 Accept the complaint, but take no further action.

4.2.3 Accept the complaint, taking one or more of the following actions:-

a) Demanding and receiving a written apology.
b) Receiving an assurance as to future conduct.
c) Suspending the member for a period of time to be decided by the MC. Suspended members will not be allowed to attend general meetings or have a right to vote whilst serving a period of suspension.
d) Expelling the member from the DSA.
e) Notifying WFC and the Police if the MC deems it a requirement of law.

4.3 If a complaint is made by, or against, a member of the MC, they shall not take part in the hearing, other than to state their case, and shall have no right to vote in the matter.

4.4 If a member of the MC is found guilty of any disciplinary offence, they shall be removed from the MC immediately and barred from standing at any DSA election for a minimum period of three calendar years.

4.5 All disciplinary hearings are strictly confidential. A note will be made in MC minutes to state that a disciplinary hearing has been held without mention of the member's name. The Secretary will keep minutes and copies of these, along with copies of other written evidence, which will be given to the defendant.

4.6 Co-opted members of the MC may not sit at, or vote on any disciplinary hearing.

5.0 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE:  

5.1 The MC shall comprise of no fewer than 4, and no more than 8 members of the DSA, aged 18 years or over, who are eligible to serve on the MC, and agree to comply with the Constitution of the DSA (this document) and its supporting documents or policies.

5.2 Members of the MC shall be elected by the members at the AGM or if needs arise, be co-opted by the MC to fill a vacancy before the date of the AGM.

5.3 Wherever possible, the MC should include the following office bearers and posts:-

5.3.1 Chairperson.

5.3.1.1 The Chairperson shall chair all meetings and act as spokesperson on behalf of the DSA. They will lead any formal discussion with WFC, its owner(s), its Chair and/or any other senior member(s) of the club management, ensuring that at least one other member of the MC is present and that any meeting is minuted.

5.3.1.2 The Chairperson may at his/her discretion nominate any member(s) from the MC to carry out any of the duties noted above on their behalf.

5.3.1.3 The Chairperson shall act as the returning officer during any vote held by the DSA.

5.3.1.4 In the event that any vote held by the DSA is tied, the Chairperson (or acting Chairperson) shall cast a second deciding vote and their decision shall be final.

5.3.2 Vice-Chairperson.

5.3.2.1 The Vice-Chairperson will assist the Chairperson in his/her duties as defined in paragraphs 5.3.1 (and all paragraphs therein) and will assume those duties and responsibilities when the Chairperson is unavailable.

5.3.3 Treasurer.

5.3.3.1 The Treasurer will be responsible for maintaining the financial records of the DSA, and for the principal management of any DSA bank or building society accounts. They shall report the accounts to the MC at all MC meetings, and to the members at the AGM, detailing the finances of the DSA, including all income and expenditure.

5.3.3.2 It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to ensure that any financial record, including (but not limited to), receipts, bank or building society statements, invoices and ledgers, are kept for a minimum of 5 years.

5.3.4 Secretary.

5.3.4.1 The Secretary of the DSA shall be responsible for all general administration responsibilities in relation to the DSA and the MC.

5.3.4.2 The duties of the Secretary shall include (but are not limited to), arranging a suitable venue, date and time for all DSA meetings including the AGM. The secretary shall also be responsible for advising those entitled to attend said meeting of venues, dates, times and agendas, at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting, and for taking and reporting the minutes for all DSA meetings.

5.3.4.3 It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to ensure that the members register is kept up-to-date to the best of their knowledge, and in the interest of member privacy and confidentiality, is kept in a secure place at all times.

5.3.4.4 The Secretary shall also be responsible for the interpretation of the Constitution (this document) to the members, a copy of which shall be kept along with any supporting or accompanying policies, on the official DSA website, and at the registered address of the DSA signed by each member of the adopting MC.

5.3.4.5 All administrative records will be kept by the Secretary of the DSA for a minimum of 5 years.

5.3.4.6 It will be the responsibility of the Secretary to seek advice regarding legal matters on behalf of the DSA and its members.

5.4 Each member of the MC shall have the same ‘one member, one vote’ voting rights as other members of the DSA (except in relation to paragraphs 4.3, 5.3.1.4, 6.5 and 10.9 of this document).

5.5 The term of office for each post will be two years; however any member of the MC may seek re-election at the AGM in accordance with the DSA Election Policy, and as stated in paragraphs 6.1 to 6.5 of the document.

5.6 Members of the MC may take on the responsibilities of more than one office at the discretion of the MC, with the exception of the Chairperson.

5.7 Members of the MC carrying out the duties of more than one officer may still only cast one equal vote in DSA decisions where a vote is required, including elections.

5.8 Under no circumstances should the number of co-opted members outnumber the number of elected members serving on the MC.

6.0 ELECTIONS: 

6.1 Elections for the post of offices of the MC as defined in paragraphs 5.3.1 to 5.3.4.6 (and all paragraphs therein) shall be held at the AGM in accordance to the Election Policy.

6.2 Nominations and proposals for eligible candidates wishing to stand for election to the MC must be lodged with the Secretary of the MC, no later than 21 days prior to the date of the AGM in order for candidates to be considered by the members of the DSA aged 18 years or over, and include a written statement in support of the proposal. Proposals received after the deadline may not be considered by the MC.

6.3 Members of the DSA will be notified of any proposals accepted by the MC via email (where a valid email has been provided) at least 14 days prior to the date of the AGM.

6.4 Any member of the MC wishing to resign their position should lodge their intent with the Secretary no less than 28 days prior to the date of the AGM.

6.5 Candidates for the MC, must be seconded by either ordinary members of the DSA, or members of the MC at the AGM, and shall be elected by majority vote of the members. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson shall cast a second deciding vote and his/her decision shall be final.

7.0 CO-OPTED MEMBERS: 

7.1 The MC has the authority to co-opt members with certain skills, knowledge and/or expertise, beneficial to the DSA, onto the MC in order to fill a vacancy before the date of the AGM by majority vote of the members of the MC.

7.2 Co-opted members must be members of the DSA aged 18 years or over, eligible to serve on the MC, and must agree to comply with the Constitution of the DSA (this document) and its supporting documents or policies.

7.3 Co-opted members shall carry the same voting rights as those MC members elected at the AGM.

7.4 At the next AGM, co-opted members may either:-

7.4.1 Stand for election to one of the offices of the MC, in the same manner as any other member of the DSA aged 18 years or over.

7.4.2 Extend his/her co-option for a further membership year upon agreement of the members.

7.4.3 Vacate their position on the MC.

7.5 Co-opted members of the MC may not sit at. or vote on any disciplinary hearing.

8.0 SUB-COMMITTEES:
 
8.1 From time to time, and at its own discretion, the MC may appoint one or more Sub-Committees from members of the DSA to deal with specific issues.

8.2 Sub-Committees will be directly accountable to the MC and any such decision of such sub-committee shall be subject to ratification by the MC.

8.3 Sub-Committees shall include at least 1, but no more than 2 members of the MC, and a Chair for said sub-committee will be selected by the sub-committee members from within its own number.

9.0 VOTING: 

9.1 Members of the DSA aged 18 years or over are entitled to one equal vote in all elections (by their single preferred method), and in any DSA decision where a vote is required.

9.2 Votes may be cast by any means accessible to each individual member, including (but not limited to) show of hands, paper ballot, by proxy or by electronic means, and the MC shall determine which voting form(s) shall be accepted for each individual election, or decision where a vote is required.

9.3 Members shall be notified of any required vote via email (where a valid email address has been provided) and via the official DSA website, at least 14 days prior to the date that the vote is due to take place, unless a simple show of hands vote is required by members in attendance at a general meeting.

9.4 Electronic votes should be cast and forwarded to the Secretary of the MC no later than 72 hours prior to the date and time that any vote or election is scheduled to take place. Votes received after this deadline may be considered at the discretion of the officers of the MC.

10.0 MEETINGS:

10.1 The MC will hold regular meetings at times and venues to be agreed by those elected, and published in advance by the Secretary in accordance to the Standing Orders for General Meetings Policy.

10.2 The AGM shall be held each year at a date and time to be set by the MC. The Secretary will set the agenda in conjunction with the Chairperson, which will be distributed to members of the DSA at least 28 days in advance, along with a copy of the previous year’s audited accounts, minutes of the previous year’s AGM, nomination forms, a copy of the Election Policy, and any required voting documentation.

10.3 At the AGM, the Chairperson will ask the members to approve the previous year’s minutes. The Chairperson will also present an annual report to the members of the DSA, summarising the activities of the previous year, and proposing the future direction and development of the DSA.

10.4 The Treasurer will present the audited accounts for the previous financial year from 1st April to 31st March at the AGM, with a statement from the elected auditor, as to whether the accounts were found to be in good order or otherwise.

10.5 The Chairperson will ask the members to approve the audited accounts and to elect, or re-elect the auditor for the forth-coming financial year at the AGM.

10.6 The quorum for MC meetings of the DSA will be at least 3, or 50% of elected and/or co-opted MC members (whichever is the greater). If quorum is not reached, the Chair or acting Chair should close the meeting, and the MC shall decide whether to rearrange the meeting for another date, or re-open the meeting, with those present representing quorum.

10.7 The quorum for AGM’s and EGM’s (including members of the MC) shall be at least 10 full members. If quorum is not reached for the stated start time of the meeting, the Chair or acting Chair shall postpone the start time (duration to be determined by the MC). If quorum is still not reached, the Chairperson or acting Chairperson should close the meeting and make the decision as to whether to rearrange the meeting for another date, or re-open the meeting counting those members present as quorum.

10.8 A decision on any matter arising, will be based on members proposals to the meeting, which must be seconded with any subsequent decision decided by majority vote, with the exception of items covered in paragraphs 14.0 and 15.0 (and all paragraphs therein) of this document.

10.9 At any general meeting of the DSA, every member aged 18 or over is entitled to one equal vote with the Chair or acting Chair having a second casting vote, only in the event of the number of votes cast being tied. The decision of the Chair or acting Chair shall be final.

10.10 An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time upon a written signed request by at least five members of the DSA, and sent to the Secretary of the MC, stating the nature of the business to be discussed.

11.0 MINUTES: 

11.1 The Secretary of the MC shall ensure that minutes are kept of every meeting, which will be made available, and distributed as soon as possible after the meeting to all members of the DSA by email (where a valid email has been provided), via the DSA website, or upon request, by post (P&P fees may apply and must be paid for in advance).

11.2 The MC will ensure that accessible formats of all minutes are made available upon request, and within limitations of DSA resources.

11.3 In accordance with the DSA Privacy Policy and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), minutes taken at meetings of the MC may be redacted at the discretion of the MC. The Secretary shall note on the minutes where any such redacted information has been emitted from the minutes.

11.4 Members may have sight of the accounts or any business transaction carried out by the DSA upon written request to the Secretary of the MC.

12.0 FINANCE: 

12.1 The financial year of the DSA shall run from 1st April to 31st March.

12.2 The Treasurer shall ensure that detailed financial records are kept in a ledger, and that all receipts and payments are correctly entered therein. The Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer, will jointly review these records regularly, checking all invoices, receipts and bank and/or building society account statements.

12.3 The Treasurer shall ensure that one or more bank or building society accounts be opened in the name of the DSA, and that two signatures shall be required in order to draw funds from such accounts.

12.4 There will be 3 or 4 authorised named signatories in relation to the DSA bank accounts. Named signatories shall be decided by majority vote of the MC.

12.5 For the avoidance of doubt, no two named signatories should be related or cohabit under any circumstances.

12.6 An updated DSA statement of accounts should be presented at each MC meeting and the accounts made available for review by any member upon written request.

12.7 The DSA annual statement of accounts shall be subject to audit with the auditor to be appointed at the AGM.

12.8 All expenditure must be agreed in advance by the treasurer, with the additional terms listed below:-

12.8.1 Any signatory has the authority to make purchases of up to £50 for one event/ purchase.

12.8.2 Approval for expenditure between £50 and £250 is required from one other authorised named signatory.

12.8.3 Approval for expenditure of above £250 is required from a majority vote of the MC.

12.9 Money raised by, donated to, or granted to the DSA may only be used to further the aims and objectives of the DSA.

12.10 The DSA will not borrow any money from banks, building societies, or any other commercial lender(s). The officers of the MC may not incur any debts and/or liabilities on behalf of the DSA that would cause the bank or building society account to become overdrawn.

12.11 The MC may agree any expenditure, unless such expenditure would breach the provisions set out in paragraph 12.10 of the Constitution. Any such expenditure, on any single item over £1,000, should be accounted for at the next scheduled General Meeting of members of the DSA.

12.12 Members who incur legitimate and reasonable expenses on behalf of the DSA may claim them back in full from DSA funds, but only on production of an itemised receipt, bill, invoice or similar.

12.13 Any member of the MC appointed to conduct financial activities on behalf of the DSA are to maintain proper records and present them to the Treasurer at each MC meeting with all monies collected and accounted for.

13.0 FUNDRAISING: 

13.1 It is the responsibility of the MC to plan, organise and facilitate fundraising events in order to raise finances for the DSA, for any joint project(s), for the organising and hosting of social events, and to ensure the financial stability of the DSA.

13.2 Funds may be raised through donations, grants or by any other legal and ethical means that the MC sees fit.

13.3 All expenditure, receipts and income generated from fundraising for social or community events shall be recorded by the Treasurer and will form part of the yearly audit.

14.0 ALTERATION TO THE CONSTITUTION: 

14.1 The Constitution can only be altered by a majority vote of the members at an AGM or EGM. Any alteration will require the approval of a two thirds majority of members present before being implemented.

14.2 An individual member’s proposal to alter the constitution must be seconded and delivered in writing to the Secretary of the DSA not less than 28 days before the date of the AGM. Alternatively an EGM may be requested to consider an alteration to the Constitution.

14.3 The MC may propose to alter the constitution providing it has already been approved in principle at an MC meeting not less than 28 days before the date of the AGM.

14.4 The wording of any proposed alteration shall be fully distributed to all members at least 14 days in advance of meeting at which it is to be considered.

15.0 DISSOLUTION: 

15.1 If the MC decides at any time that on the grounds of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the DSA, it shall call an EGM of all members giving no less than 28 days’ notice.

15.2 The decision to dissolve the DSA must be confirmed by a two thirds majority vote of those members present, providing quorum is met in compliance with paragraph 10.7.

15.3 Any property or funds belonging to the DSA will be distributed to disability groups or organisations as decided by the members present at the dissolution meeting.

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