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COVID-19 AGM guidance

COVID-19 has thrown up its share of challenges, upheavals and uncertainties for football supporters – notwithstanding the public health emergency, people are looking at everything from claiming refunds on pre-booked travel for upcoming fixtures to checking for updates on season ticket renewals, all the while wondering when (and how) football will return.

One area that might be overlooked, however, is how supporters’ groups get through the coming months.

Many will have been planning to use the end of the season for important business, including AGMs, meetings with accountants and so on. Government restrictions on movement for essential journeys and social distancing pose their own problems in these circumstances.

Thankfully our rules and regs expert Nicola Cave has pulled together the following advice on how to navigate the coming months from a constitutional point of view:

It is a tough time for everyone, and I appreciate there is a lot on people’s minds at the moment.

The last thing we at the FSA want is for our members to lose sleep over how your supporters’ group can hold a general meeting or the consequences of not adhering to rules or legislative requirements in these stressful times.

The FSA is committed to supporting all our members, by providing information and support through the coming months, and as part of that we have pulled together the briefing documents below which should provide some clarity on how members can tackle their general meetings during this lock-down whether you are a community-owned club, supporters trust or a supporters group.

Our colleagues at Co-operatives UK have also provided some information which may be helpful in particular to community owned clubs.

Maybe like me, you are using this time to work through that “to do list” that is perpetually on the back burner.

You’ve rearranged your spice rack and organised your sock drawer and now the time has come to dust off the cobwebs on your constitution to review it, go through those side policies to see if they need an update and generally get your governance geek hat on.

Well, lucky for you, we have been consulting with the Financial Conduct Authority over the past weeks and they have produced their own general guidance for registered societies covering issues like submission of accounts, amendments to constitutions and acceptance of electronic signatures during this time so you can fire through that to do list with ease.

We hope that our members are in a fortunate enough position to have sufficient resources and advice available to them through existing channels to weather the coming weeks and months, but if not please get in touch with the FSA – email Andy Walsh or Richard Irving – and we’d be happy to help in offering support and advice where we can.

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