These are the agreed rules of the Branch, which are binding on all members. They can only be amended at an Annual General Meeting, as set out in Rule 14.
1. The Branch shall be an Associate Branch of the Sunderland A.F.C. Supporters’ Association as defined by the Association’s Rules. It shall be called the London and Southern England Branch.
2. Members of the Branch will automatically be Associate Members of Sunderland A.F.C. Supporters’ Association and will be subject to the Rules of the Association as well as the Rules of the Branch. Members, other than Life Members of the Association, will have voting powers only within the Branch.
3. The objectives of the Branch shall be:
i) The organisation of support and encouragement of Sunderland A.F.C.;
ii) The maintenance of a high standard of conduct by members at all Club matches and during all journeys undertaken in following the team;
iii) The promotion of the best spirit of sportsmanship on all occasions;
iv) The provision of the means of social intercourse and mutual help to all members;
v) The encouragement of friendly relations with supporters of other soccer clubs.
4. Rule rescinded at 1997 Annual General Meeting.
5. No person shall be accepted into the membership of the Branch until they have agreed to accept the Branch Rules and have paid the current membership fee as has been fixed from time to time by the Association. Membership will be renewable yearly on 1st July.
6. The day to day business of the Branch shall be run by the Committee formed of not less than 9 nor more than 12 of its members. The Committee shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting, members being elected for a three-year period, at the end of which they may offer themselves for re-election. Young members (i.e. under 16 at the date of enrolment or renewal) shall not be eligible for election to the Committee nor have any voting powers.
7. The Committee shall include members who have specific responsibilities as Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and Travel & Ticket Officer as well as making suitable arrangements to oversee communications with members (via newsletters, website and social media) sports activities, sales and any other relevant service. It shall be permissible for two of these responsibilities to be carried out by one Committee member except that none of the first three positions named shall be combined with any other of the three.
8. The Committee shall, between two successive Annual General Meetings, have the power to co-opt any member:
to replace an elected member who for any reason ceases to be on the Committee, or
to carry out a nominated task or responsibility provided that at no time shall the maximum Committee size of Rule 6 be exceeded.
9. Any Committee member who shall fail to attend three consecutive Committee Meetings without giving a reasonable explanation for his or her absence shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee.
10. The Committee shall meet as and when necessary to discuss Branch business, but at no time shall a period of four months elapse between two successive Committee meetings. Five members shall constitute a quorum at such meetings. Minutes of such meetings shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be open to examination by any Branch member provided that at least 14 days’ notice is given.
11. The Branch shall have a General Account at a bank to be determined by the Committee and all cheques drawn on the account shall bear the signatures of two of the following officials: the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Travel Officer for the time being. Separate accounts may be opened for specific purposes at the discretion of the Committee, provided that the same cheque-signing arrangements are maintained, except for any account run by the Registered Promoter of any lottery run by the Branch, for which the Promoter will be solely responsible.y
12. The Treasurer shall, when required to do so, present reports and accounts to the Branch Committee and shall prepare for presentation at every Annual General Meeting income and expenditure accounts and balance sheets for all monies, assets and other securities of the Branch. These accounts shall have been reviewed by a suitably qualified Independent Examiner before the Annual General Meeting and certified as correct by a person appointed by the Committee for that purpose. The Independent Examiner shall be any person other than those members of the Committee authorised by Rule 11 to sign cheques on behalf of the Branch. The financial year will end on 31st May.
13. The Annual General Meeting shall be held during the football close season or before the end of September. Additionally, the Committee may at its discretion, or at the request of not less than 20 members of the Branch, call a Special General Meeting. 14 days’ notice and venue of all General Meetings shall be given to all current members and such meetings may not proceed to business until 20 members are present within one hour of the time fixed. Voting shall be by show of hands or ballot paper whichever procedure is deemed expedient by the Chairman. The Chairman shall have no vote except in the case of a tie.
14. No Branch rule may be added, deleted or amended except by a vote taken at a General Meeting. Any such change must be supported by at least two-thirds of the votes cast. Notice of the proposed alteration shall be given as part of the notification of the calling of the meeting.
15. The Branch Committee shall have the power to reprimand, suspend or expel any member who shall infringe any Branch or Association Rule or whose conduct shall, in their opinion, render him or her unfit for membership. Before any such suspension, the member concerned shall be given the opportunity to explain his or her conduct to the Branch Committee. A suspended member shall forfeit all rights of membership during suspension. No expelled member or suspended member will be entitled to the return of any part of his or her membership fee.
a) In the event of a member making payment to the Branch for an excursion fare, match ticket or other organised event and subsequently failing to turn up, any repayment of the monies received will be at the discretion of the Branch Committee.
b) If a payment made by a member to the Branch is by cheque and is for any reason not honoured upon presentation, then in addition to making good any payment still due to the Branch, the member concerned will be liable to meet any administrative or bank charges incurred by the Branch in consequence of the cheque not being met at the first attempt.
17. The authority to pledge the credit of the Association and to enter into any contracts or agreements and to make payments by or on behalf of the Branch is vested solely in the Committee.
18. No member may use the name, style or title of the Association or Branch without the authority of the Branch Committee. Other than travel arrangements made by the Branch Travel Officer, or authorised by the Committee, no financial liability will be accepted by the Association for any transport arranged by a Branch member or group of members nor will any such arrangements fall within the scope of any insurance cover arranged by the Association.
19. In the event of the winding up of the Branch, all its monies, assets and other securities shall become the property of Sunderland A.F.C. Supporters’ Association.