Constitution of Guildfordians Rugby Football Club ( GRFC )
(As amended at the Annual General Meeting held on 8th July 2022 at The Pavilion, Parkway, Guildford, GU1 1TU)
The name of the association shall be "GUILDFORDIANS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB" (hereinafter called "the Club").
The objects of the Club shall be:
(i) To bring people together as a positive group through the provision of facilities for the playing of the game of rugby in all of its forms.
(ii) To help people to become aware of their own individual potential, to develop their potential and to direct that potential to the fostering of teamwork.
(iii) To uphold the following tenets of the game of rugby union football:
(a) to allow all people in their own way to enjoy and derive enjoyment from their participation in the game;
(b) to have a view of the game in its most dynamic and expansive form that provides excitement;
(c) to encourage all people who play the game to aspire through endeavour to be the best they can be, always ready to work hard and improve their skills and understanding of the game;
(d) to recognise their own contribution, and the contribution of others, so as to develop an appreciation of the value of teamwork; and
(e) to encourage understanding of equity and law within the game.
(iv) To ensure that all people who are involved with the game work within the known spirit of the game having respect for:
(a) the laws of the game, the referee and concepts of fair play;
(b) team mates; and
(c) the opposition through winning modestly and losing with dignity.
(v) To develop and improve the social conditions of such people.
(vi) To actively involve people in achieving the above objectives.
In the furtherance of these objectives the Club may:
(i) Apply for, collect and receive money and property.
(ii) Purchase and take on lease or licence freehold or leasehold property with power to sub-lease, or licence occupation of any part of such property.
(iii) Enter into such contracts of insurance as may seem expedient.
(iv) Publish or sell books, newsletters and any other documents whatsoever, and distribute such books, newsletters and any other documents.
(v) Do all such other things as will further the attainment of the above objects.
4. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENTS
(i) The Club may appoint a President.
(ii) The Club may appoint Vice Presidents or Honoray Vice Presidents. Honoray Vice Presidents will usually be people the Club wishes to honour in reward of services to the Club. The names of Vice Presidents shall be submitted at the Annual General Meeting.
(i) Membership of the Club shall be open to anyone interested in the sport on application regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs. However, limitation of membership according to available facilities is allowable on a non discriminatory basis.
(ii) The members of the Club ("the Members") shall be divided into the following categories of membership:
(a) Full Members (who satisfy the requirements of (iii) below and who are less than eighteen years of age).
(b) Full Members (who satisfy the requirements of (iii) below and who are eighteen years of age or older).
(c) Temporary Members (who fall within 6(ii) below and who are less than eighteen years of age).
(d) Temporary Members (who fall within 6(ii) below and who are who are eighteen years of age or older).
(e) Voting Members (who fall within (iv), (v) or 6(iv) below).
(f) Prospective coaches and active adult supporters
(g) Social members
(h) Vice Presidents and Honorary Vice Presidents
(iii) Full Membership shall be granted to any person falling within (i) above upon the lodgement with the Membership Secretary of an signed membership application(where the player is less than eighteen years of age it should be signed on behalf of the applicant by a parent or legal guardian) and the payment of a subscription.
(iv) Parent(s) and legal guardian(s) of a Full Member who are less than eighteen years of age shall be Voting Members of the Club.
(v) Notwithstanding whether they may be parents or legal guardians of Members of the Club, officers of the Committee of the Club and coaches shall also be Voting Members of the Club.
6. TEMPORARY MEMBERSHIP
(i) Temporary Membership shall be used by the Club to allow individuals to try rugby union football before committing themselves to Full Membership of the Club.
(ii) Temporary Membership shall be granted to any persons falling within 5(i) above upon the lodgement with the Membership Secretary of an signed application (where the player is less than eighteen years of age it should be signed on behalf of the applicant by a parent or legal guardian).
(iii) Temporary Members shall be entitled to the same rights as Full Members for a period of three weeks following the lodgement with the Membership Secretary of their application, thereafter they must either become Full Members by payment of a subscription or their Temporary Membership will lapse.
(iv) Temporary Member shall be members and Voting Members of the Club for the period of Temporary Membership (where the player is less than eighteen years of age their parent or legal guardian is the Voting Member).
(i) The annual subscription for Full Membership (which shall be for a period equal to the Club's financial year (as specified in 15(i) below)) shall be such sums as may from time to time be decided and recommended by the Committee and agreed by the Annual General Meeting of the Club.
(ii) The annual subscription for Social, Prospective Coaches and Active Adult Supporters (which shall be for a period equal to the Club's financial year as specified in 15(i) of the Constitution) shall be such sums as may from time to time be decided and recommended by the Committee and agreed by the Annual General Meeting.
(iii) The annual subscription shall normally be due on the first Sunday in October in every year, but noting the exceptions in the case of Temporary Members specified in 6(iii), above.
8. DEFAULT IN PAYMENT OF SUBSCRIPTIONS
(i) Any Full Member whose current subscription has not been paid before the first Sunday of December in any year and who neglects to comply with a written request for payment within seven days after the same shall have been posted to him/her shall cease to be a Member on the expiration of such seven days unless a reason satisfactory to the Committee has been given for the delay.
(ii) Any Temporary Member who have has not paid a subscription four weeks after admission to the Club as a Temporary Member and who neglects to comply with a written request for payment within seven days after the same shall have been posted to him/her shall cease to be a Member on the expiration of such seven days unless a reason satisfactory to the Committee has been given for the delay.
(i) The management of the Club shall be vested in a Committee consisting of the following officers ("Officers of the Club"): Club Chairman, Club Secretary, Club Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Senior Chairman, Minis Chairman, Youth Chairman, Touch Chairman, Girls Chairman, Walking Chairman, Junior Welfare Officer and Discipline Secretary. (ii) The officers of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting in each year and, subject to termination of office by resignation or otherwise, shall remain in office until their successors are elected at the Annual General Meeting following their election. The retiring officers of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election with the exception of once they have served 5 consecutive years, in exceptional circumstances this can be extended by 1 year.
(iii) The Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy in the Committee that may occur.
(iv) The Committee may appoint sub-committees as it deems necessary and shall prescribe their function providing that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be reported to the Committee as soon as possible and provided further that no such sub-committee shall expend funds of the Club otherwise than in accordance with a budget agreed by the Committee. The Committee may also co-opt additional Members to the Committee who have the same rights as Officers of the Club.
(v) Head Coaches shall be co-opted officers of the Committee and shall have the same rights as elected officers.
(vi) Any matter not provided for in this Constitution and concerning the organisation and activities of the Club shall be dealt with by the Committee whose decision shall be final.
(vii) The Committee shall meet as and when it thinks fit.
(viii) Club officers will be limited from holding more than officer role at a time.
(i) The Committee shall appoint one Head for each age group and approve Assistant Coaches as it thinks fit.
(ii) In exercising their duties coaches shall always have the objects of the Club in mind.
(i) A Member desiring to withdraw from the Club should give notice in writing to the Membership Secretary.
(ii) No Member shall be entitled to any refund of all or any part of his/her annual subscription as a consequence of his/her resignation from the Club.
(i) A Disciplinary Officer (who ideally should not be Chairman) shall be appointed by the Committee.
(ii) When acting alone the Disciplinary Officer shall have the authority to caution verbally any Member.
(iii) The Disciplinary Panel shall have the authority to caution verbally, give written warnings, or suspend any Member from playing, training or Club membership and to take such action as the Disciplinary Panel deems appropriate. The Disciplinary Panel also may make recommendations to the Committee that a Member be expelled from Membership of the Club. The Disciplinary Panel at all times shall act fairly.
(iv) References in this Code to "Chairman" and "Committee" shall be to Chairman/Committee of the Junior or Senior section of the Club as appropriate.
(v) All Members (whether players or not) shall: -
a. Abide by all applicable Club Codes of Conduct and rules;
b. Abide by all applicable RFU Codes of Conduct and rules;
c. And not act in a manner that does or may bring the Club or the game of Rugby into disrepute.
(vi) Members are under a duty to report to the Disciplinary Officer, or the applicable coach who shall then report it to the Disciplinary Officer, any: -
a. Sending off incident;
b. Any breach of the duties set out in (v)a;
c. Any suspected breach of the duties set out in (v)a,
(Together "an Incident").
(vii) If the Incident involves a Child, the Child Welfare Officer shall be informed.
(viii) Having been notified of an Incident the Disciplinary Officer shall in his/her sole discretion decide whether the Incident is minor in nature.
- If so, the Disciplinary Officer may caution verbally the Member and/or take no further action;
- If not, the Disciplinary Officer shall as soon as reasonably practicable co-opt two additional independent Members who were not involved in the Incident to form a Disciplinary Panel one of whom may if appropriate be the Child Welfare Officer.
(ix) As soon as reasonably practicable the Disciplinary Panel shall: -
a. Gather evidence relating to the Incident.
b. Make a decision as to whether there is a case to answer. If there is no case to answer, the matter shall be concluded. Otherwise: -
c. Notify the Incident and the nature of the complaint ("the Charges") to the Member the subject of the Incident ("the Indicted Member").
d. Fix a time and place for a Hearing and provide reasonable notice (not usually less than three days) of the Hearing to the Indicted Member.
e. Conduct a Hearing.
f. Reach a Decision.
(x) In cases where the nature of the Incident warrants it, the Disciplinary Panel may suspend the Indicted Member from playing, training or club membership pending a Hearing.
(xi) Generally the Hearing shall proceed as follows: -
a. The Indicted Member may attend the Hearing with a representative and/or witnesses.
b. The Disciplinary Panel may exclude from the Hearing any person who is disruptive and/or abusive.
c. If the Indicted Member fails to attend, or is excluded from, the Hearing, the Hearing shall proceed in his/her absence and the Disciplinary Panel may make whatever decisions it feels appropriate.
d. The Indicted Member will be asked whether he/she objects to the constitution of the Disciplinary Panel.
e. The Charges will be read to the Indicted Member.
f. The Indicted Member will be asked whether or not he/she admits the Charges.
g. If the Indicted Member denies the Charges: -
i. The evidence gathered by the Disciplinary Panel will be presented and/or witnesses will be called. The Indicted Member may ask relevant questions.
ii. The Indicted Member may present evidence and/or call witnesses, and present a defence. The Disciplinary Panel may ask relevant questions.
h. The room will be cleared. The Disciplinary Panel will decide whether the Charges have been proved - if not, the matter will be concluded. Otherwise: -
i. The Indicted Member will be recalled, notified of the decision and his/her previous disciplinary record considered. The Indicted Member may present evidence and/or make representations in mitigation.
j. The room will be cleared. The Disciplinary Panel will decide on the appropriate penalty ("the Penalty"). The Disciplinary Panel will take into consideration, but will not be bound by RFU sentencing guidelines unless obliged to do so under RFU rules.
k. The Indicted Party will be notified of the Penalty.
a. The Penalty is a suspension from playing, training or membership for a period exceeding four weeks; or
b. The Disciplinary Panel so directs,
The Indicted Member may appeal against the Penalty to the Chairman and two members of the Committee who were neither involved in the Incident nor the Hearing, provided that the Indicted Member gives notice of the appeal within four days of notification of the Penalty.
Expulsion from Membership
(xii) If the Disciplinary Panel considers that the appropriate Penalty is expulsion from the Club, the Disciplinary Panel shall make a recommendation to this effect to the Committee. The Committee shall consider the matter, and the Indicted Member and the Disciplinary Panel may make representations to the Committee. If the Committee so decides on a majority vote (the Chairman having a casting vote in the event of a tie) the Indicted Member shall be expelled from the Club; otherwise the matter shall be referred back to the Disciplinary Panel to substitute an alternative Penalty.
(xiii) In the event that a Member is expelled or suspended from the Club, no membership fees will be returned, and any unpaid membership fees remain payable.
(xiv) After expulsion members should have the right to appeal:
Any member has the right to appeal against the decision to the whole Club at the next AGM.
(xiv) Ordinarily any Penalty against a Member will apply against that Member only, and not against persons who are in the same family as that Member. In extreme circumstances (including, but not limited to, persistent breaches of Club rules, and/or failure to abide by a Penalty) where it is appropriate to do so the Disciplinary Panel and/or the Committee (as applicable) may expel or suspend from playing, training or Club membership both the offending Member and his/her family.
RFU Disciplinary Process
(xv) If the RFU (whether through the Surrey RFU or otherwise) pursues disciplinary proceedings against a Member that Member shall forthwith notify the Disciplinary Officer.
(xvi) The Club's and the RFU's disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted separately.
(xvii) Unless the Disciplinary Panel otherwise directs, any fines ordered to be paid by the Club in any RFU disciplinary proceedings shall be payable by the applicable Member.
Each Voting Member shall have one vote at general meetings of the Club to be exercised in person only, except that where necessary the person presiding over the general meeting shall have in addition a casting vote.
14. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
(i) The business of the Club shall be conducted in accordance with decisions made by the Committee and resolutions made or passed at the AGM.
(ii) The Voting Members of the Club may adopt such rules of procedure as may seem fit.
(i) The financial year for the Club shall end on the 30th June every year.
(ii) All monies raised by or on behalf of the Club shall be applied to further the objects of the Club and for no other purposes.
(iii) The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping proper account of all income and expenditure of the Club and shall present a financial report to all Committee meetings.
(iv) A person considered by the Committee to be competent to examine the accounts and who is not an officer of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to audit or independently examine the accounts and books of the Club.
(v) The Treasurer shall present the accounts duly audited or independently examined for approval by the Members at the Annual General Meeting.
(vi) A club is non-profit making if its governing document requires any surplus income or gains to be reinvested in the club. Surpluses or assets cannot be distributed to members or third parties. This does not prevent donations by the club to charities or to other clubs that are registered as community amateur sports clubs.
(vii) Financial Authority, Treasurer - £500, Treasurer and 1 Officer - £1000, Committee (who may delegate to club chairman in exceptional circumstances) > £1000 ( except for reoccurring items like Minis Tour and International Tickets ).
16. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
(i) A general meeting of the Club shall be held annually.
(ii) Notice convening the Annual General Meeting shall be sent to all Members not less than fourteen days before the meeting and shall specify the matters to be dealt with.
(iii) The Annual General Meeting shall be presided over by the Chairman of the Committee or in his absence by the Secretary of the Committee or in his absence by an agreed officer of the Committee.
(iv) The Annual General Meeting shall transact at least the following business:
(a) to consider the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting for their accuracy and any actions arising therefrom;
(b) to receive and if approved to adopt a statement of the Club's accounts for the previous financial year;
(c) to receive the Chairman's annual report;
(d) to consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration to the rules of the Club;
(e) to appoint the officers of the Committee. Nominations for officers of the Committee shall be proposed and seconded by Voting Members of the Club and should have the consent of the nominee;
nominations may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the Annual General Meeting, or in the course of the transaction of this item of business during the Annual General Meeting;
(f) to appoint the auditor or independent examiner of the Club's accounts;
(g) to consider and if approved adopt the Committee's recommendations regarding annual subscriptions; and
(h) to deal with any matter which the Committee desires to bring before the Members and to receive suggestions from the Members for consideration by the Committee.
17. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
(i) A special general meeting of the Club may be convened at any time by the Committee and shall be convened within fourteen days from a receipt of a requisition in writing signed by no less than ten Voting Members specifying the object of the meeting.
(ii) Notice convening a Special General Meeting shall be sent to all Members not less than fourteen days before the meeting and shall specify the matters to be dealt with.
(iii) The Special General Meeting shall be presided over by the Chairman of the Committee or in his absence by the Secretary of the Committee or in his absence by an agreed officer of the Committee.
(iv) The Special General Meeting may be convened for any of the following purposes:
(a) to consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration to the rules;
(b) to deal with any special matter which the Committee may desire to place before the Members including the expulsion of a Member;
(c) to receive the resignation of the Committee or to remove any vacancy or vacancies caused thereby;
(d) to dissolve the Club; and
(e) to deal with any special matter which the Voting Members requiring the meeting may desire to place before the Club.
18. REAL PROPERTY
Any real property held or to be held by the Club in any way whatsoever shall be vested in no fewer than three officers of the Committee for the time being to the intent that they shall hold the same upon trust for the Members of the Club. Such trustees shall be appointed by the Committee.
19. DISSOLUTION OF THE CLUB
(i) The Club may be dissolved by resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the Voting Members present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened by the Committee for the purposes of considering such a resolution.
(ii) Upon the dissolution of the Club the property and assets of the Club shall not be paid to or distributed to or among Members of the Club but shall be applied to benefit a registered CASC Club, registered Charity or the RFU for use within related community activities as the Committee shall decide.
20. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Alterations to this Constitution may be made by resolution of not less than two-thirds of the Voting Members of the Club present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting convened by the Committee for the purpose of considering such a resolution.
21. SERVICE OF NOTICES
For the purposes of these rules notices of any matter shall be deemed to be duly served upon any Member if the same shall have been posted on the Club's notice board or been sent by ordinary post to the Member at the address last known to the Membership Secretary.
(i) At Committee meetings four officers of the Committee shall form a quorum.
(ii) At Annual or Special General Meetings twelve Voting Members shall form a quorum.
The "Club" except, for Touch Rugby, will affiliate to the RFU via Surrey Rugby Football Union. Touch rugby can select to affiliate to the appropriate body at a later date.