The name of the Club shall be the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club.
The object of the Club is to provide members with the facilities and equipment to play rugby football union in a sociable environment and to promote wider community participation, involvement and support for the sport of rugby union football and other eligible sports (as approved by the Board) where the Board considers this to best further the interests of the Club in the United Kingdom and abroad.
3.1 The Club is a members’ club whose address is The Club House, The Jack Williams Ground, Hall Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7DS.
3.2 The officers of the Club are the Chairman, Director of Rugby, Director of Business, Director of Finance and the Company Secretary and they shall form the Board of Directors.
3.3 There shall be two Committees of the Board that shall have the freedom to act in determining Club policy in the areas of Playing and Business. The Playing Committee shall be chaired by the Director of Rugby and shall comprise representatives from the Men’s, Ladies, Junior and Mini sections of the Club. All Playing Committee members shall be Club officials when fulfilling their roles. This Committee shall meet not less than 4 times a year.
3.4 The Business Committee shall be chaired by the Director of Business and shall comprise individuals invited to support the Director of Business across his scope of responsibility. All Business Committee members shall be Club officials when fulfilling their roles. This Committee shall meet not less than 4 times a year.
3.5 Job descriptions shall be prepared and kept up-to-date for Board positions and shall be available for inspection on the Club’s website or in paper form by request to the Company Secretary.
3.6 The Club shall be affiliated to the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football Union for Women and the Kent Rugby Football Union.
3.7 The general management of the affairs of the Club in all matters shall be under the entire control of the Board of Directors.
3.8 In the event that a Board of Directors cannot be formed, the Club Chairman shall take responsibility for temporarily managing the Club’s essential business with a view to either resolving the situation by way of a Special General Meeting.
4. The Board of Directors
4.1 The Board of Directors of the Club shall be elected for a period of one year by the members of the Club at the Annual General Meeting.
4.2 The Club President shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and shall serve in that capacity for no more than three consecutive years.
4.3 The Club President is an honorary position with no executive powers, the role being to act as an ambassador for the Club around the County and to be a unifier and a diplomat for and within the Club. Nominations for the position as Club President shall be made, in writing and delivered by hand, post or by email to the Company Secretary not less than 21 calendar days prior to the date the next Annual General Meeting. Those eligible for nomination being persons who have given long and consistent service or support to the Club. The Board of Directors shall consider all nominations received and shall make a decision about the appointment of Club President communicating this to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. Whilst it is intended that no one person shall serve for more than three consecutive years, the Board of Directors reserves the right to extend this period in the absence of any other credible nomination.
4.4 All Board Directors and Playing or Business Committee members must be fully paid up Club members and shall have full voting rights
4.5 The Board of Directors shall meet not less than four times a year, and the Board may invite to at least two of those meetings Playing and Business Committee members to attend. A quorum shall be three members of the Board of Directors.
4.6 The Board of Directors shall have:
a. responsibility for the control of Club funds;
b. the sole power to incur liabilities, enter into Contracts and borrow money on behalf of the Club;
c. the responsibility for arranging matches for the Club;
d. the power to form the Playing and Business Committees as required;
e. the power to fill ad hoc vacancies on the Playing and Business Committees and to co-opt ordinary Club members onto these Committees where considered to benefit the Club.
f. The power to instruct the Chairs of the Playing and Business Committees to establish, as necessary, Disciplinary and Junior Disciplinary Sub-committees;
f. the power to make, revoke and vary the Club Rules and Regulations provided these are consistent with the Club object;
g. the power to discipline Club members;
h. the power to appoint signatories for cheques and other official documents.
i. the right to invite non-members to the Club;
j. the right to set the level of annual subscriptions;
k. the right to set and charge ground entrance fees for matches; and
l. the right to set and charge car parking fees.
4.7 The Board of Directors, excluding the Chairman, shall have the right to resign by notifying the Chairman not less than 2 months in advance of the next Annual General Meeting.
4.8 The Chairman shall have the right to resign by notifying the Company Secretary not less than 2 months in advance of the next Annual General Meeting.
5.1 Membership of the Club shall be open to all persons irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs; or of age, sex or disability except as a necessary consequence of the requirements of rugby union as a particular sport.
5.2 The Board of Directors may refuse membership or expel from membership only for good and sufficient cause, such as conduct or character likely to bring the club or sport into disrepute.
5.3 Appeal against such a decision may be made to a separate Appeals Panel, no member of which will have been involved in making the initial decision, and decided by a majority vote (see clauses 6.5; 9.3; and 9.6).
5.4 Every candidate for adult membership must be at least 18 years of age and shall be made by means of an application form and payment of subscription.
5.5 The Board of Directors reserves the right to accept or reject applications.
5.6 There shall be four categories of membership:-
a. ‘Full members’, who shall pay subscription at the full rate (including here those Members who have paid a recognised concessionary rate that has been agreed by the Board of Directors) and make themselves available to play, and will have full voting rights;
b. ‘Social members’, who shall not have voting rights, other than those social members who are appointed officials under the terms of 5.7 below;
c. ‘Vice Presidents’, who will have voting rights for Club Directors, as defined in section 8. Entry to this level of membership is restricted to those who have played for either Linton RFC, Aylesford RFC or Aylesford Bulls RFC, or under the terms of 8.3 below.
d. ‘Junior members:
i. Junior membership shall be available to persons under the age of 18 provided they are supported in their application by a parent or guardian who shall be responsible for the conduct of the Junior member whether or not the Junior member is accompanied by the parent or guardian when on the Club premises.
ii. Proposals for membership must be on the forms provided for that purpose and must be signed by the candidate for membership and in the case of Junior membership, by the parent or guardian supporting the application under paragraph 5.6 (d)(i).
iii. Junior members do not have the right to vote.
5.7 Every junior age group (from pre-U7 to U18, including junior Ladies’ U1 to U18, shall have a Lead Coach and a Team Manager who will be appointed on an annual basis by the Director of Rugby following the Annual General Meeting but prior to the start of the following season. The Club’s Child Welfare Officer will be similarly appointed on an annual basis. All such appointees must hold membership of the Club as described in 5.6, above. Such individuals shall be considered as appointed officials of the Club and shall be entitled to the same voting rights as Vice Presidents.
5.8 A list of names and addresses of all members of the Club shall be kept on the Club premises and produced on demand for inspection by a Police Officer.
5.9 When an accepted candidate has paid his/her first annual subscription (or instalment if agreed with the Club Secretary), he/she shall be a member of the Club and entitled to all privileges of his/her membership type and shall be deemed to have agreed to be bound by the Rules and Regulations of the Club, which shall be displayed on the Club’s website and available in paper form on request to the Club Secretary. If instalments are not paid by the prescribed date, his/her membership may be suspended or terminated at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
5.10 The Board of Directors reserve the right to refuse entry to the clubhouse and grounds to any prior Club Member who has not paid their annual subscription for the relevant year by 30th September (or agreed payment date) in any year.
5.11 Members must carry their cards when visiting the Club and show them upon request.
6. Rights and Liabilities of Members:
6.1 Every member of the Club shall (subject to the Rules and Regulations for the time being in force) be entitled to use and enjoy (in common with other members of the Club) the Club premises and things provided by the Board of Directors for the use of the Club and on such terms and conditions as to payment as the Board of Directors may from time to time stipulate.
6.2 A member is entitled to use the facilities of the Club, providing always that the Club may at any time temporarily withdraw all or any part of such facilities for any period or periods where the same are required for use in connection with any repair, alteration or maintenance work to the facilities of the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club. In addition, the Club may at any time withdraw all or any part of such facilities for any period or periods where the same are required for use in connection with a letting to a third party. Club members shall be given advance notice, on the Club website of periods when Club facilities shall be temporarily unavailable to Club members.
6.3 Where an individual member considers there has been a breach of the club’s Rules and Regulations, he/she shall put his/her complaint in writing and submit it to the Company Secretary within 14 days of the alleged breach taking place in order that the matter may be investigated and appropriate action taken.
6.4 The Board of Directors shall have the power to expel any member who shall offend against the Rules and Regulations of the Club or whose conduct shall, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, render him/her unfit for membership of the Club.
6.5 Before any such member is expelled, the Company Secretary shall give him/her seven days notice to attend a meeting of a Panel of three Club officials, drawn from the Board of Directors, Playing and Business Committees and including at least one of the Director of Rugby or the Director of Business, and shall inform him/her of the complaints made against him/her.
6.6 No member shall be expelled without:-
a. first having an opportunity of appearing before the Panel and answering the complaints made against him/her; and
b. at least two-thirds of the Panel present and voting, voting in favour of his/her expulsion.
6.7 Any appeal against such a decision shall be made in writing to the Club Chairman within 7 days of the Panel’s decision, setting out the grounds of such appeal. The Chairman shall consider if such grounds warrant the matter being re-visited having regard to clause 5.1.
6.8 There shall also exist a Disciplinary Sub-committee to hear any matter relating to breaches of the RFU Laws and Regulations, either on or off the field of play. The Disciplinary Sub- committee shall be constituted from members of the Business and Playing Committees, dependent upon the nature of the hearing, but will always have either the Club Chairman or Company Secretary as Chairman. In addition, in relation to playing matters, the Director of Rugby shall be included in the core membership. A copy of all records of Disciplinary Sub-committee disciplinary meetings shall be forwarded to the Company Secretary within  calendar days of a Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee decision.
6.9 In regard to the Junior Section of the Club, RFU rules deem there must be a disciplinary framework which accords with the requirements of the RFU Handbook. Responsibility for this is delegated to the Junior representative on the Playing Committee, who will appoint a Junior Club official to manage this process. As necessary, a Junior Disciplinary Sub -committee will be formed and shall include the Junior representative on the Playing Committee, the Junior Club official managing the process and one other Club Official. Consideration will be given at the time to inviting the Club Chairman or the Director of Rugby to be involved where a case is deemed serious enough as to so require or where the offence has broader implications for the Club in general. The Junior representative on the Playing Committee shall be responsible for liaison with the Kent RFU Youth and Schools Discipline Secretary and shall maintain records of all junior disciplinary issues. A copy of all records of junior disciplinary meetings shall be forwarded to the Company Secretary within  calendar days of a Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee decision.
6.10 For the avoidance of any doubt, disciplinary proceedings involving members of the adult Ladies section and the junior Ladies section shall be dealt with by the Disciplinary Sub-committee and the Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee respectively.
6.11 Any person called before the Disciplinary Sub-committee or the Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee shall be given 7 days notice of hearing and allowed to be accompanied by another Club member to assist in their defence.
6.12 In the event that the Disciplinary Sub-committee or the Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee considers the offence to be serious enough to warrant consideration of expulsion, the matter shall be referred to the Board of Directors within 5 calendar days for consideration in accordance with 6.4 and 6.5 above.
6.13 All decisions emanating from the hearing shall be further communicated in writing within[5 calendar days following the conclusion of the hearing, and the Board of Directors shall review all Disciplinary Sub-committee or Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee findings and formally record their acceptance or otherwise in order to ensure proper governance. This formal decision shall be recorded in writing and forwarded to the Company Secretary within 7 calendar days of the decision.
6.14 In the event of any member being aggrieved by the decision of the Disciplinary Sub-committee or the Junior Disciplinary Sub-committee, or feels he/she has been unfairly treated, he/she may appeal to the Board of Directors for the matter to be resolved, with the findings of the Board of Directors being binding on all parties.
6.15 If, in the view of the Board of Directors, a member of the Club has been guilty of gross misconduct, his/her membership of the Club shall be suspended forthwith although he/she may not be expelled until the procedure set out above has been followed. The initial notice of expulsion will be oral and will be confirmed in writing by the Company secretary (or Chairman) within 7 calendar days of the date of the initial expulsion.
6.16 Players found guilty of misconduct (including foul play) or any contravention of the Club’s Rules and Regulations must pay the full cost of administration of the hearing. In the event that a player is called to a Kent Rugby Football Union Disciplinary hearing, or a Rugby Football Union Disciplinary hearing, they shall be responsible for all related administration costs, unless responsibility for such costs is formally waived by the Board of Directors.
6.17 Junior members are not permitted:
a. to purchase or consume intoxicating liquor on the Club premises;
b. any person infringing this Rule shall be required by the Board of Directors to leave the Club premises immediately and his/her membership may be terminated. If it is proved that such infringement took place with the consent and knowledge of the Adult member who introduced that Junior member, then that person also shall be immediately expelled from the Club and his/her membership may be terminated.
7. Rules and Regulations:
7.1 The Board of Directors may from time to time make, vary and revoke Rules and Regulations (not inconsistent with such Rules and Regulations) for the regulation of internal affairs with the Club and conduct of members. Until revoked, all Rules and Regulations shall be binding on the members.
8. Vice Presidents:
8.1 The Board of Directors shall have the power to elect honorary Vice Presidents, without payment of any further subscription, where a member of the Club has, in the opinion of the Board,, rendered outstanding services or support to the Club.
8.2 On acceptance, each honorary Vice President shall be presented with a Club tie.
8.3 Honorary Vice Presidents shall not be voting members of the Club.
9. The Annual General Meeting:
9.1 The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held at the end of the playing season and no later than 31st May in each year, at a date and time to be fixed by the Board of Directors, for the following purposes:-
a. to receive, from the Director of Finance, an annual report, profit and loss account and balance sheet of the Club accounts;
b. to elect the Board of Directors and the Honorary President for the forthcoming season;
c. to decide any resolution which may be duly submitted to the meeting, as provided below;
d. to discuss any other business of the Club; and
e. to hear the reports of the Board of Directors, and others, for the previous season.
9.2 Any members desirous of moving any resolution at the Annual General Meeting shall give written notice of the resolution to the Company Secretary at least 21 days in advance of the meeting.
9.3 The Company Secretary shall, at least fourteen (14) calendar days before an Annual General Meeting, post a notice of the meeting on the Club’s website and notice board, setting out the agenda of the meeting and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting.
9.4 The Company Secretary shall, at least fourteen (14) calendar days before an Annual General Meeting write, by email or letter, to all voting Club members providing them notice of the meeting and advising where they can locate details of the agenda and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting.
9.5 The order of proceedings at any AGM or Special General Meeting (see below) shall be determined by the Club Chairman or his/her nominated representative drawn from the Board of Directors present. This person shall be permitted to set his/her own procedures for managing the AGM/SGM.
9.6 Voting on issues, motions or resolutions will normally be by an open show of hands from the eligible members present at the meeting, for or against the proposition, with the majority holding sway. The Club Chairman or his/her nominated Board Director present shall have a casting vote wherever there is no majority view. In casting this vote the Club Chairman or his/her nominated Board Director shall not vote in favour of any proposal to change an existing position.
9.7 Voting for elected officials and team captains will normally be by an open show of hands from the eligible members present at the meeting.
a. In cases where there are 2 or more candidates for a single role, the votes will be cast in favour of one candidate or another; and
b. In cases where there is a single candidate, the vote will be for or against the election of that person.
10. Special General Meetings:
10.1 The Board of Directors may, at any time, call a Special General Meeting.
10.2 A Special General Meeting must be held following receipt, by the Company Secretary, of a written request for a Special General Meeting signed by at least ten (10) percent of the Club members holding voting rights for the time being.
10.3 The Company Secretary shall, at least fourteen days before a Special General Meeting, post a notice of the meeting on the Club’s website and notice board, setting out the agenda of the meeting and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting.
10.4 The Company Secretary shall, at least fourteen (14) calendar days before a Special General Meeting write, by email or letter, to all voting Club members providing them notice of the meeting and advising where they can locate details of the agenda and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting.
10.5 In the event that the Club Chairman is temporarily managing the Club’s affairs in accordance with the terms of clause 3.8 of the Constitution, he/she may, at any time, call a Special General Meeting. He/she shall, at least fourteen days before a Special General Meeting, post a notice of the meeting on the Club’s website and notice board, setting out the agenda of the meeting and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting
10.6 The Chairman shall, at least fourteen (14) calendar days before a Special General Meeting write, by email or letter, to all voting Club members providing them notice of the meeting and advising where they can locate details of the agenda and any specific proposals to be considered at the meeting.
11. The Quorum:
11.1 The quorum for all General Meetings shall be a minimum of the (10) percent of voting members of the Club for the time being.
12. Dissolution and disbursement of profits and assets:
12.1 The income and property of the Club shall be applied solely towards promoting the Club’s object as set forth in this constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, to the members of the Club.
12.2 If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Club there remains after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, the same shall be paid to or distributed to another registered community amateur sports club for rugby union, the RFU for use in community related rugby union initiatives, or to a charitable organisation.
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