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Minimum Operational Requirements

Supporters Trust Minimum Operational Requirements

We have developed the following guidance for our member Trusts laying out the minimum requirements for Trust operation, providing step by step information and template documents for members to use.

We have highlighted following vital steps:

  • Fill out annual return to FCA (AR30)
  • Independent examination/Audit of accounts
  • Hold AGM
  • Conduct board elections
  • Maintain members register
  • FSA membership

Below is an overview of each of these requirements. Further in-depth guidance on each subject can be found in their stand-alone sections.


  1. Annual Return
  2. FCA Fee
  3. Accounts 
  4. AGM
  5. Elections
  6. Members Register
  7. FSA Membership

Annual Return

Your society must complete and return the AR30 form to the FCA within 7 months of your financial year end.

The completion and submission of the AR30 is usually the responsibility of the society secretary.

Any changes you make to your rules (registered office address, change of year end etc.) need to be done through the FCA and their prescribed forms.

The AR30 can be found here on the FCA website.

The AR30 can now be submitted online through the FCA portal, information on which can be found in the standalone section on the FCA in this resource.

Your FSA Network Manager is always on hand should you require assistance completing the form.


In the FCA fees consultation paper published November 2018, they proposed to discontinue the annual fees payable by registered mutuals.

They have now made their final rules so that from 2019/20 fee year registered mutuals will no longer pay annual fees.

Fees still need to be paid for the fee year 2018/2019. Information on these fees can be found here on the FCA website.


Your Trust will contain a rule stating it must annually submit audited accounts unless a motion is passed at AGM to opt to have an Independent Examination of accounts instead. An Independent Examination (IE) is a form of lay audit.

In essence, where an audit will assure members that the accounts are right, an IE will confirm to members that there is no evidence to suggest the accounts are wrong.

The examination is carried out by an Independent Examiner who does not need to be a qualified accountant. The Examiners Report is required to be included in the Accounts presented to Trust Members for the AGM.

Make sure you add a standard agenda item at the AGM to give the Board approval to produce an independent examination and a resolution to appoint an independent examiner.

Check out this Example independent examiners report from the Raith Trust.

We have produced full detailed guidance on independent examinations which you can find in the finance section of this resource.

 If you are having problems finding someone to undertake your Independent Examination please do not hesitate to contact the FSA for assistance, or it might be worth contacting one of the Co-ops UK approved accountants detailed on the resource list below.


Your society must hold an Annual General Meeting within 6 months of your financial year end, ideally you should:

  • Make the date of the AGM public at least 28 days in advance (so that members have the opportunity to put a motion on the agenda)
  • Advertise AGM & send calling notice of meeting out to members giving 14 clear days’ (working days) notice
  • Present accounts/independent examination to members for approval
  • Send voting or proxy forms together with voting deadline

Full AGM guidance can be found HERE.


The model rules state that board members serve for terms of either 2 or 3 years.

We recommend adoption of our election policy which can be tailored to your society.

We would suggest you have a minimum of 2 people who will act to oversee the election process who are not standing for roles or current board members.

If your elections are non-contested (more seats than people standing for them) the results of the election can just be announced at the AGM.

If your elections are contested (more candidates than seats) as a minimum you need to:

  • Invite candidate’s statements to put out to members
  • Issue ballot form to members giving 14 clear days to vote

Full election guidance can be found HERE.

Members Register

A list of your society’s members should be maintained and a copy/back-up ideally be available in the societies registered office.

If you do not have an adequate database FSA can offer to link you up with our partners.

FSA Membership

Tiers of members

At the FSA we have three tiers of membership. Affiliate, Associate and Individual.

Our combined membership has now surpassed 500,000.

Affiliate members are groups who have a democratic structure and constitution. Traditionally these tend to be supporters’ clubs (independent or official) and supporters’ trusts. Affiliate members have 5 votes each on FSA matters.

Associates are non-democratically structured fans’ groups who would like to associate themselves to the FSA. They can still participate in the FSA’s democratic processes but, like individual members, they only have one vote.

Fanzines, websites, and blogs tend to fall into this category, along with non-democratically structured fans’ groups.

Individual members are those who are not representing any associate or affiliate groups.


The FSA’s structure features a democratically elected National Council which embeds within it fan representatives from clubs at Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two, and National Game (non-league) level as well as Community-Owned Club and Fans For Diversity representatives.

All networks are entitled to three elected representatives on the council, with the responsibility falling to those networks to fill the positions.

Six individual fans are also elected and, in addition to this, supporter-owned clubs and Fans for Diversity have their own specially assigned representatives.

Member Benefits

There are many benefits to being a member of the FSA. From access to advice and assistance from out Network Managers, legal partners and specialist advisors, access to training and resource, to being part of a strong network looking to improve the game for all.

If you have any issues with completing our membership form, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To ensure continued membership of the FSA please keep us updated on any changes to your society board, contact details or registered address.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball