Rules and Constitution of Hammers United – The Independent Supporters’ Group for West Ham United FC Supporters
The name of the organisation shall be Hammers United hereafter referred to as Hammers United or HU.
The objectives of Hammers United shall be to:
a) Represent West Ham United FC supporters on issues decided by its members through a process of Structured Dialogue with West Ham United FC.
b) Establish and maintain channels of communication with the Owners, Executives, Management and Representatives of West Ham United FC.
c) Promote, maintain and value the history and identity of West Ham United FC and its supporters.
d) Encourage the Owners, Executives, Management and Representatives of West Ham United FC to appreciate, welcome and value the support and participation of all West Ham United fans and ensure that equal opportunities are promoted for all supporters.
e) Affiliate to appropriate national and international football supporters’ organisations.
f) Represent West Ham United FC supporters in national structured dialogue via appropriate platforms.
a) Membership of Hammers United shall be available free of charge to all West Ham United supporters.
b) Membership of Hammers United shall be considered as joining the Facebook Group for HU or signing up to the HU email address (via the HU website or by other means).
c) Joining the Facebook Group or signing up to the HU email address shall be considered as consenting to adhere to the conditions of the HU constitution.
d) There will be no membership fees.
e) Members’ personal details shall be stored securely and shall not be passed to a third party without the member’s written consent, unless there is a legal requirement for Hammers United to do so.
f) Membership records shall be kept by the Secretary, on behalf of Hammers United and shall be available to all members of the Committee.
g) Should the Committee reject an application for membership, the applicant shall be duly notified and have the right of appeal at the next Committee meeting.
h) Membership is for life unless cancelled by the member by leaving the Facebook Group or withdrawing consent for their email address to be used by the committee of HU for the purposes of emails being sent from the HU email address, or by the Committee.
I) All members are entitled to attend and fully participate and vote at the AGM and any EGM.
j) Members may attend and participate in Committee meetings at the pre-advertised discretion of the chair of the meeting.
k) Any member bringing Hammers United into disrepute and or violating the code of conduct shall render themselves liable to expulsion. A member may be suspended and recommended for expulsion by a special majority vote of the Committee but shall not be expelled until s/he has received a full hearing before a disciplinary panel established by the Committee. The member shall have a full opportunity to answer all allegations against her/him before a decision on expulsion is taken by the panel. Any member expelled shall have the right of appeal.
3.1 Disciplinary Procedure: A disciplinary panel will be established with no less than three Committee members present. The committee should be present at any disciplinary hearing. Members facing a disciplinary panel may elect a representative to assist with their defence. If no representative can be found, members may request a representative to be appointed by Hammers United, who will assist without prejudice. Safeguarding will take place to prevent conflict of interest. The disciplinary panel must decide with a 66% majority for members to be removed from Hammers United.
3.2 Appeal Procedure: All members have the right to an appeal following expulsion from Hammers United. Appeals shall be submitted in writing. Submitted appeals will be reviewed within 28 days by way of a Committee meeting.
Appellants have the right to make a statement giving explanation of their appeal. The Committee Chair will summarise the appellant’s argument for members at the following AGM. Members will then take a vote without the appellant present. The appellant must receive a 66% majority vote for membership to be reinstated. The appellant will be notified of decision with an explanation from the Chair. The appellant will either be removed from all associations with Hammers United if the appeal fails or be reinstated.
a) The decision on how to conduct an election shall be decided upon and publicised to HU members no less than 21 days before an AGM/EGM. This includes but is not limited to both physical and online options to enable a ballot of the entire HU membership.
b) The manner of and time period in which the election is held, is for agreement between the committee members of HU
c) The result of the election shall be ratified by majority vote of all members attending an AGM/EGM
5. THE COMMITTEE
a) Hammers United shall have a committee of not more than 12 and not fewer than 4 members.
b) The period of office for Officers and other Committee members shall be from the conclusion of the AGM at which the Committee is declared as elected to the conclusion of the AGM the following year.
c) All Officers shall be members of the Committee with full voting rights.
d) All members shall be entitled to stand for election for any Officer or Committee member position.
e) Election of the committee of Hammers United shall be held in a manner agreed upon by a majority of the H.U. committee.
f) The Committee shall be entitled to co-opt members to the Committee and shall ensure any such co-options are reported to the membership. Co-opted reps may have full voting rights at Committee meetings, as necessary.
g) The Committee shall be entitled to fill any vacancy occurring during the year and shall ensure any such co-options are reported to the next AGM/EGM/committee meeting.
h) The length of term for initial Officers on the group’s formation shall be until the first AGM, where the inaugural election will take place.
i) A Committee member shall declare an interest in any contract or matter in which s/he has a personal material or financial interest, whether directly or indirectly, and shall not vote in respect of any decision relating to that matter.
j) The Committee shall strive to ensure that Hammers United’s structures, meetings, communications mechanisms and employment policies respect and promote the concept of equal opportunities.
k) The Committee shall establish sub-committees as it considers necessary. Each sub-committee shall appoint an existing HU member to chair it with the title of Project Lead, as agreed by the HU committee, to report on the activities and decisions of that sub-committee. l) Unless previously agreed, sub committees’ decisions must be endorsed by the Committee before they are acted upon.
m) The Committee shall establish or support charitable trusts, associations or institutions in line with the objectives of Hammers United.
n) The Committee has the power to do all such lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objectives.
The Officers of Hammers United shall be the Chair, Secretary and Joint Secretary. The Officers shall collectively take decisions and actions on matters between AGM and Committee meetings, such as public statements and attendance at meetings. Normal duties of the Officers shall include:
· The Chair shall chair all Hammers United meetings at which s/he is present.
· In her/his absence the meeting shall be chaired by another Officer of Hammers United.
· It is the duty of the Chair of Committee meetings to ensure all views of those present are heard at the meeting.
· In the event of a tie the Chair of all meetings shall have a casting vote.
c) Secretary/Joint Secretary
· The Secretary shall be responsible for circulating an agenda and relevant papers to those present at Committee meetings prior to the commencement of the meeting.
· The Secretary shall produce draft minutes of the Committee meetings, to be agreed as accurate, subject to any amendments, by the Committee at its subsequent meeting.
· The Secretary shall convene the AGM on a date agreed by the Committee, and will make all the arrangements for the meeting, including arranging an appropriate venue and providing an agenda for the meeting.
· The Secretary shall arrange to publicise Committee meetings to the membership.
7. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
a) An AGM should be held once annually at a time to be determined by the Committee, and no later than the first Sunday in February.
b) The Secretary shall ensure that all members are sent notification of the date, time, place and agenda for the AGM not less than fourteen days before it is due to take place.
c) The Secretary shall ensure that copies of the Minutes of the previous AGM and a Hammers United Annual Report are available at the AGM.
d) The Annual Report shall contain statements on Hammers United’s work during the year from the Officers and Committee members as appropriate.
e) The quorum for the AGM shall be ten members.
f) Should the AGM not be quorate thirty minutes after the published starting time the meeting shall be adjourned to a date not more than two months after the inquorate meeting. All members shall be notified of the new date by the Secretary.
8. COMMITTEE MEETINGS
a) The Committee shall consist of all Officers and Committee members, whether elected at the AGM, or subsequently co-opted.
b) At least four Committee Meetings shall be held each year.
c) General Hammers United policy shall be determined at Committee Meetings, subject to ratification at the next AGM.
d) The Committee can, by majority vote, decide to hold a ballot of members on any matter it so decides. The result of any ballot shall be binding on the Committee and may only be changed by decision of the AGM or an EGM.
e) In cases of urgency, the Officers may decide policy changes that may arise between AGM/EGM/committee meetings by majority decision and shall report all such decisions to the membership.
f) The quorum for Committee meetings shall be four elected members of the Committee, one of whom must be an Officer.
g) It is the duty of all Officers present to ensure that the views of members not present, but which are communicated to the Officer prior to the meeting are reported accordingly.
h) Votes will normally be by an open show of hands. A secret ballot will be held if requested by at least one-third of the Committee members present.
9. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
a) An EGM may be called:
i) By majority resolution of the Committee, or
ii) By members constituting at least 25% of the total number of members submitting written notice to the Secretary of their desire for such a meeting.
b) The Secretary shall convene an EGM within six weeks of receipt of such a requisition unless agreed otherwise with the requisitioners. The Secretary shall send notice of and the agenda for the EGM to all supporting members not less than seven days before the date of the EGM.
c) The quorum at EGMs shall be twenty members.
d) With the exception of dissolution (see below) and amendments to the rules of HU, resolutions may be passed at an EGM with the approval of a majority of members present.
10. AMENDMENTS TO THESE RULES
a) Amendments to these rules may be proposed by the Committee or by any member.
b) Any proposed amendment from a member to these rules shall be submitted to the Secretary in writing not less than seven days prior to the date of the AGM or EGM called for the purpose.
c) An amendment to these Rules shall require a two-thirds majority of members present.
a) A motion to dissolve Hammers United shall only be considered at an AGM or EGM of which all members have received at least 21 days notice electronically and/or in writing. The notice of the meeting shall contain the motion to dissolve H.U.
b) A motion to dissolve Hammers United may be proposed by the Committee or by a proposal signed by at least 25% of members.
c) To dissolve Hammers United, three-quarters of the members present must vote in favour of a resolution proposing dissolution.
d) On the dissolution of the organisation, once any debts have been settled, any outstanding monies or property of Hammers United shall be given to an organisation with similar aims and objectives. The beneficiary organisation shall be as decided by the Committee.
e) It will be the responsibility of the former Officers of Hammers United to dissolve the organisation in line with the wishes expressed at the AGM/EGM.
12. CODE OF CONDUCT
All members, Officers and associates of Hammers United shall be committed to:
a) Supporting, promoting, and furthering the objectives of Hammers United
b) Rejecting violence, abusive behaviour, or discrimination in any form.
c) Making Hammers United an inclusive and welcoming group that represents West Ham United fans from all backgrounds.
d) Recognising that decisions made by Hammers United are reached democratically by way of ballot and respecting the outcome of each ballot.
All members, Officers and associates of Hammers United shall be prohibited from:
i) Making communications in the name of Hammers United without express permission.
ii) Profiting from activity associated with Hammers United without express permission.
iii) Complicating or sabotaging the objectives, activities or communications of Hammers United.
iv) Bringing Hammers United into disrepute by any other means
The failure of a member, Officer or committee member of Hammers United to adhere to section 11 of this Constitution shall see the formation of a disciplinary panel as detailed in section3(l), Disciplinary Procedure. The member shall be treated in line with section 3(k) in advance of a disciplinary panel.
A copy of the Hammers United Constitution can be downloaded below.