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Handbook:Appendix 5: Model rules for Trust elections

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Supporters' Trust Handbook
Introduction
Setting up a Supporters' Trust – The three-stage model
Stage One – Open meeting to introduce the Trust
Stage Two – Develop Working Group and Launch
Stage Three – The First AGM
Running a Trust
Organisation
Constitutional Issues
Fundraising
Marketing
Using the Media Effectively
Action in the Community
Shareholding, AGM, and Board Strategies
Contexts
Corporate Governance
Company Law
Codes of Corporate Governance
Regulation by the Football Authorities
Appendices
Appendix 1: Model agenda for the stage one open meeting
Appendix 2: Template application form
Appendix 3: Model board membership policy
Appendix 4: Model agenda for Trust AGM
Appendix 5: Model rules for Trust elections
Appendix 6: Sample election nomination form
Appendix 7: Supporters Direct funding policy
Appendix 8: Potential sources of funding from within the co-operative movement
Appendix 9: Some of the objects used by existing Trusts
Appendix 10: Media directory
Appendix 11: Taxation treatment of football community mutuals
Appendix 12: Code of conduct for elected supporter directors
Appendix 13: Identifying and tracing shareholders at your club
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These are the rules used by the Dons Trust:

WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
SUPPORTERS’ SOCIETY LIMITED
Election Rules Policy
Inaugural Elections – 2002

Introduction

1. This document constitutes the Election Rules, Regulations and Procedure and is drafted in accordance with existing constitution of the Wimbledon Football Club Supporters’ Society Limited. The purpose of the Election Rules Policy is to ensure that the elections for Society board members are conducted in a democratic and unbiased manner in accordance with these rules and the Constitution. The Board Membership Policy is published separately.

2. Definitions:

AGM Annual General Meeting
Dons Trust Wimbledon Football Club Supporters’ Society Limited
ERS Electoral Reform Society
EWG Elections Working Group
SB Society Board (Steering Committee)
STV Single Transferable Vote

Election Control

3. During the election period the EWG will ensure that the Election is run in accordance with the Election Rules Policy on behalf of the Dons Trust members.

4. The EWG will comprise of an odd number of members and any decisions taken will be by majority vote and recorded.

5. Members serving on the EWG shall be eligible to nominate candidates, vote and stand in the Elections.

6. Any EWG member standing as a candidate will not be: involved in the collation and publication of candidate manifestoes; eligible to vote on matters pertaining to candidate disqualification; or eligible to vote on any other matter which may influence the outcome of the Election.

7. Polling for the election is to be run by the ERS - an independent service provider, subject to these election rules. The results as determined by the ERS are final.

8. The election timetable is included in the Board Membership Policy publication.

9. Election details shall also be posted on the Dons Trust Website, “www.thedonstrust.org”.

10. Polling results will be determined by ERS in line with the STV system as published.

11. The results will be announced at the AGM by a returning officer.

12. The EWG will verify that nominations are from members and check for ‘multiple nominations’. If multiple nominations are found then the candidate that submitted their nomination form first shall be accepted. Thereafter a nomination form containing a further Candidate nomination by the same member will be rejected.

Eligibility & Nomination

13. Candidates must comply with eligibility and nomination procedure as set out in the Nominations publication.

14. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to ensure their nominations are valid and submitted in accordance with the timetable. In the event of uncertainty, the decision of the EWG will be final.

15. In signing the form, candidates are bound by the terms and conditions of the election rules and regulations.

16. A signed letter of nomination from a member is an acceptable substitute for manuscript signature on a candidates’ nomination form.

17. Specifically candidates are also self-certifying that they comply with the following two rules of the constitution:

18. Rule 58: No candidate can stand if they:

  • Have been a member of the Society board for 12 consecutive years;
  • Have been declared bankrupt or compounded with their creditors;
  • Are subject to a disqualification order made under the Company Directors Disqualification Act;
  • Have been convicted of an indictable offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974);
  • Are or may on the basis of medical evidence be suffering from mental disorder;
  • Fail to abide by any rules for the conduct of elections made by the Society board

Rule 72:

Save for the exceptions outlined in the constitution, no Society board member is to have any material financial interest personally or as a member of a firm or company or as a director or other officer of a business trading for profit or in any other way whatsoever in any contract or other transaction with the Society. For the purposes of this rule, an interest of a person who is connected with a Society board member shall be treated as an interest of the Society board member.

Election Rules

19. During the election the EWG, or interim SB members, cannot provide advice to voting members as to the suitability of any candidates on behalf of the Dons Trust. Any opinion, or advice provided, should be taken as provided in a personal capacity.

20. Candidates/complainants have the right of appeal to the EWG, and then through the complaints procedure detailed in Dons Trust Constitution.

21. Complaints after voting has closed shall be made in writing to the EWG not later than three working days after the close of poll.

22. All communication regarding Election Rules Policy should be addressed to the EWG, via e-mail at “election@thedonstrust.org”, or by letter addressed to the EWG at the Dons Trust registered office.

23. Communication with ERS will be restricted to EWG members.

24. Should any Candidates contravene the election rules the EWG shall judge whether a disqualification shall apply. Notification will be to ERS prior to announcement of election results and subsequently to the elected SB.

25. The elected SB will decide what action, if appropriate, may be taken should disqualification occur.

26. Should the election not produce ten elected SB members the casual vacancy rules shall apply.

27. All Candidates shall leave their contact details with the EWG.

Manifestos and Campaigning

28. The EWG shall publish a Manifesto document based on Candidates’ Manifestos submitted with the Nomination form.

29. The EWG will be responsible for circulation of the manifesto document with ballot papers.

30. On a membership-wide basis, campaigning will be restricted to this publication. No further Election campaigning material will be circulated to all members. Other than this personal campaigning is allowable.

31. All candidates can submit an election manifesto to the EWG by close of nominations. The candidate’s name need not appear in these 100 words. Acronyms, pseudonyms, and slang will be at the discretion of the EWG.

32. All the candidate’s manifestos are to be received in written form, typed, and proof read before issue. The number of words counted shall be decided using Microsoft Word.

33. If a candidate’s manifesto has more than the permitted one hundred words, it will be truncated at 100 words and text will be inserted below stating: “The Candidate’s Manifesto has exceeded the permitted one hundred words and has therefore been truncated”.

34. Candidate’s manifestos written in the third person shall be accepted.

35. Candidates and nominees can only put their real names on nomination documentation. No nicknames will be accepted.

36. A candidate's manifesto shall not contain the name of any of their nominators or any other candidate.

37. Candidates must not in their manifestos: make threats, insults, derogatory, abusive, racist, sexist, or homophobic statements, or references towards other candidates.