Following the late postponement of the West Ham United Supporters Club Dissolution vote that was due on Sunday 25th March, a substantial number of Supporters still met at The Railway Tavern in Stratford to discuss and to agree what actions can be taken to defeat the dissolution motion. A new group, ‘Save Our Supporters Club’ was formed, with a democratic Committee elected. Our Constitution is available below:
1. The name of the Group is “Save Our Supporters’ Club” hereinafter referred to as “the Group or SOSC”
2. The aims of the Group are:
- To prevent the dissolution of the West Ham United Supporters Club, Castle Street, Upton Park E6 1PP and protect the interests of the members of SOSC in the West Ham United Supporters Club
- To help with the provision of a match-day bar for members of West Ham United Supporters Club until those members elect a new Supporters Club Committee dedicated to saving the existing Institution and opening a permanent match day bar close to the London Stadium.
3. Full Membership with full voting rights is open to anyone who:
- is aged 18 years or over; and
- holds, as at 24th March 2018, a “Full Membership” card of the West Ham United Supporters Club, Castle Street, Upton Park E6 1PP; and
- supports the aims of the Group; and
- agrees to be bound by the Group’s Code of Conduct; and
- has paid the appropriate membership fee, if any, as decided by the Committee; and
- has had their membership application approved by Membership Secretary.
4. The Committee shall have the discretion to grant “Associate Membership” to individuals where they consider the individual will contribute to the aims of the Group. “Associate Members” have the right to attend member meetings and receive newsletters and general mailings. Associate Members will have NO voting rights.
5. Once Full Membership has been approved by the Membership Secretary, the member becomes entitled to all the benefits and privileges of Full Membership and the member agrees to be bound by the Constitution of the Group and other rules or regulations decided upon by the Committee from time to time.
6. The Committee has the right, at its sole discretion and without any right of appeal, to refuse an application for new membership, whether Full or Associate, if, in its opinion, the applicant is not likely to uphold the aims of the Group.
7. The initial membership period will run from 25th March 2018 to 31st July 2018. Subsequent membership periods, if required, will be on an annual basis commencing each 1st August.
8. The initial Full and Associate Membership fee for the period 25th March 2018 to 31st July 2018 is £0 (zero). Annual membership fees are payable by the 1st August each year except for the first subscription of a new member which is payable on application to be a member. The Committee will invite renewals from existing members and new membership applications (if appropriate) for the following year at such suitable date as it decides.
9. The annual membership categories, criteria for membership and membership fee(s) shall be as agreed by the Committee from time to time.
10. All members must notify the Membership Secretary of any change of address (including email address) within fourteen days of such change occurring.
11. A list of all members will be kept by the Membership Secretary.
Ceasing to be a member
12. Members may resign at any time in writing to the Secretary.
13. Any member who has not paid their membership fee within one month of the due date i.e. on or before midnight on 31st July will be deemed to have resigned and must make a new application for membership if they wish to be a member of the Group.
14. Members in breach of the Group’s published Code of Conduct for members may be asked by an Officer of the Group or their appointed representative to leave the Group’s event at which the behaviour occurs and may not be allowed to attend future events until such time as decided by the Committee. In serious cases, the Committee may decide to cancel the individual’s membership.
15. The individual concerned shall have the right of appeal against any suspension or cancellation of their membership before a final decision is made by the Committee.
16. Existing members who have their membership cancelled by the Committee will not be entitled to any refund of any membership fee paid either in part or in full.
17. Any individual, upon ceasing to be a member of the Group, immediately forfeits all rights to and claims upon the Group, its property, its funds and any voting rights.
18. The Group will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.
19. The business of the Group will be carried out by the Group’s Committee.
20. The Committee will comprise a minimum of 3 and up to a maximum of 5 Committee Members.
21. The Committee of the Group will comprise the following Officers;
- Membership Secretary
- Operations Secretary
22. The initial Committee Members shall be elected at the inaugural meeting of SOSC on 25th March 2018. Subsequent elections, if required, will be held at an Annual General Meeting “AGM” of the Group subject to the provisions of clauses 25 & 26.
23. Individual Committee Member’s roles and responsibilities will be as set out in Role Profiles issued from time to time by the Committee.
24. Committee Members shall be elected at each AGM. Existing Committee Members must resign at the AGM and stand for re-election if they wish to continue on the Committee. There is no limit to the number of years that a member can serve on the Committee.
25. If a Committee Member resigns their position prior to the AGM, the Committee may, at its discretion, appoint a replacement Committee Member who shall act in that role until such appointment is confirmed at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) or the next AGM.
26. If, in the opinion of a majority of the Committee members present at a Committee Meeting, another Committee Member is failing to execute their role in the correct manner, they are in breach of the Group’s published Committee Members’ Code of Conduct or they are not considered to be not acting in the best interests of the Group and/or its members, the Committee Member may be asked to resign their position. If the Committee Member refuses to resign, the Committee must convene an EGM, explain the reason for their decision to call an EGM and allow the Full Members the opportunity to remove said Committee Member and elect a replacement.
27. The Committee has the power to appoint not more than four persons to act as Trustees for the purpose of holding and administering Group property. Trustees so appointed shall act until required to resign by the Committee.
28. The Committee shall have the power to issue rules and regulations for the management and use of the Group and such rules and regulations shall come into operation immediately provided that such rules and regulations are notified, if necessary, to the members and are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution.
29. The Committee shall have the right to agree and pay any remuneration/fees to or reimburse any expenses incurred by a member or other party in respect of the Group’s activities.
30. Notification of Group meetings will appear on the Group’s website, at Group events and all social media platforms that the Group operates. No notifications will be sent by post. An email notification will also be sent to the latest email address held for the member by the Membership Secretary. It is the responsibility of the members to check the Group website and ensure that their email address is up to date as the Committee cannot be held responsible if the member is unaware of the AGM taking place.
Annual General Meetings (AGM)
31. The meeting on 25th March 2018 will be regarded as the first AGM of the Group.
32. It is hoped that no further AGM’s will be required but if an AGM is deemed necessary the date, time and venue of the AGM will be decided by the Committee. The Committee will make all reasonable efforts to give notification of and arrange the AGM at a venue, date and time that allows as many members to attend in person as possible.
33. The rules under which business will be conducted at any subsequent AGM will be published by the Committee at least one month in advance of the AGM and such rules will require agreement by 50% of the members voting.
Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)
34. The Secretary will call an Extraordinary General Meeting at the request of the majority of the Committee or at the request of at least 20% of the Full Members giving a written request to the Chairperson or Secretary stating the reason for their request.
35. The date, time and venue of the EGM will be decided by the Committee but any EGM must be notified to members within 7 days of the request. The EGM must then be held within twenty eight days of the request. The Committee will make all reasonable efforts to arrange an EGM at a venue, date and time that allows as many members to attend in person as possible.
36. All such notifications will take place at least 2 weeks prior to the date of the EGM giving the venue, date, time and proposed agenda.
37. The quorum for an EGM will be at least three Committee Members plus at least an additional 20 members excluding those Committee Members present.
38. Each member will be entitled to one vote on each matter raised.
39. Members who are not able to attend will be able to nominate another member who will be in attendance to vote on their behalf providing notice of such proxy voting election is given to the Secretary at least 7 days prior to the EGM.
40. The Committee will also allow electronic voting on elections of Committee Members or other such matters that have been notified to the membership at least 14 days prior to the EGM.
41. The Committee will decide on and inform the membership of the exact process for proxy and electronic voting at least 14 days prior to the EGM.
42. If a quorum is not present then the meeting will stand adjourned. The Committee will announce the venue, date and time of the rearranged EGM within 7 days of the original EGM subject to the rearranged meeting being held within 21 days of the original EGM.
43. Minutes of all EGM’s will be published on the Group’s website as soon as the content and accuracy of such minutes have been agreed by the Committee.
Group Committee Meetings
44. The Group Committee meetings may be called by the Chairperson or Secretary. Committee members must receive at least 7 days’ notice of Group Committee meetings.
45. The Committee will adopt and publish on the SOSC website a Code of Standing Orders to regulate its own procedures for dealing with its business.
46. Minutes of all Committee meetings will be prepared by the Secretary for agreement at the next Committee meeting. An update on non-confidential matters arising at Committee meetings will be published on the Group’s website and/or emailed to members as soon as the content of such updates have been agreed by the Committee.
Rules of Procedure for all meetings
47. All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.
48. The Chairperson (or Acting Chairperson as elected by those Committee members present if the Chairperson is unavailable) will ensure that the meeting is conducted in an orderly way and all members have the opportunity to voice their opinions without interruption by other members. All members will address the Chairperson for permission to speak at any meeting. The Chairperson has the right to eject any member from the meeting who, in the opinion of the Chairperson, is disrupting the orderly business of the meeting in any way.
49. If a consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the Chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.
50. Where proxy or electronic voting is applicable to such matters, the overall vote will include those votes cast by proxy or electronic means.
Finances & Property of the Group
51. An account or accounts will be maintained on behalf of the Group at a bank or banks as agreed by the Committee. Cheque signatories will be nominated as required by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer). The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.
52. All cheques and authorisations for other methods of payment such as BACS, cash withdrawals etc must be authorised by two of the signatories. Copies of all authorisations will be held by the Treasurer.
53. Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at all Group meetings.
54. The Trustees of any Group Property and the Committee are indemnified against all risk, expense or liability arising out of Group property providing their actions are not deemed to be negligent.
55. No person shall at any time be entitled to receive at the expense of the Group or any member thereof any commission percentage or similar payment on or with reference to purchases of intoxicating liquors by the Group nor shall any person directly or indirectly derive any pecuniary benefit for the supply of intoxicating liquor or on behalf of the Group to members or their guests apart from any benefit which a person derives indirectly by reason of the supply giving rise to or contributing to the general gain of the Group.
56. The purchase by the Group and the supply by the Group of intoxicating liquor shall be at the absolute discretion of the Committee which shall be in no way restricted in freedom of purchase. No money or property of the Group or any gain arising from the carrying on of the Group shall be applied otherwise than for the benefit of the Group.
Access to the Group’s premises or events
58. The rules allowing access of Full Members, Associate Members and guests to SOSC run events will be decided by the Committee and will be as published on the Group’s website. The Committee has the power to amend such rules as required to serve the best interests of the Group.
Amendments to the Constitution
59. Amendments to the constitution may be made at an AGM, an EGM or following an online consultation of the members if such a consultation is called for by the Committee.
60. Any proposal to amend the constitution at an AGM or EGM must be given to the Secretary in writing/by email at least 14 days prior to the AGM/EGM. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of the AGM/EGM or separately 7 days prior to the AGM/EGM if such notice has already been issued.
61. Any proposal to amend the Constitution by way of an online consultation must be sent to the Secretary who will present it to the Committee for consideration at the next Committee meeting.
62. Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of the votes cast. Votes will be counted from those present at any AGM/EGM meeting, those cast by proxy and those cast by any agreed electronic means.
63. If any meeting or online consultation, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the Group the Committee will call an EGM to seek approval to do so from the members. The sole business of this meeting will be to vote on a resolution to dissolve the Group. In order for the dissolution resolution to be passed, a majority of two thirds of the votes cast must be in favour of the dissolution of the Group.
64. If it is agreed to dissolve the Group, all remaining money and other assets, once all outstanding debts have been paid, will be distributed as decided by the Members at the EGM to dissolve the Group. The Committee will notify members in advance of the EGM of the process that will allow the members to distribute the funds in accordance with the Members’ instructions.