Football would not take place each weekend without the support of hundreds of thousands of volunteers. For most youth teams, it is the parents of players who give up their time to ensure their sons and daughters can take to the pitch and enjoy a game of football.
There are a wide variety of jobs involved with running a club, especially in those that run multiple teams. A club must have a committee, which is made up of ‘members’ of the club. Members can take on an active role, or could just support the club through having their say on important matters at annual general meetings.
There are a few core officer roles needed for a club’s committee. The Chairperson does not have specific duties but will oversee the work carried out by other officers. The Chair will organise and preside over committee meetings.
The Secretary is the most important role in the club and is the official contact between the club, the County FA and the competition organisers. The Secretary’s duties include: County FA affiliation, league membership, all correspondence, maintenance of club records including financial records, maintaining a player register, managing transfers and contracted players.
The Treasurer must manage and administer the club’s finances, maintaining an income and expenditure record and balance sheet, which must be presented at the club’s AGM. A cash book must be retained for two seasons, an annual financial statement prepared and bank account managed in the club’s name.
All clubs with players and teams under 18 must appoint a Welfare Officer. The Welfare Officer needs to understand the club’s responsibilities when running activities for children and young people, and must help club personnel in their duty of care towards children.
A club may appoint volunteers to additional roles such as Fixtures Secretary, Press Officer, Website Editor, Social Secretary, Vice-Chairperson, Fundraiser and Respect Officer.
Clubs will welcome new volunteers to take an active role in running the club. Whether you’re already involved as a parent, grandparent, relative or friend to a player or just want to give some free time to a local club, your approach will be welcomed. Speak to one of the club officials to advise them of your interest and find out which roles are available.
It is recommended that you try to fully understand all the responsibilities associated with a role before agreeing to take it on. You will want to know how much of your time is required, whether it involves working on matchdays or can be done from your own home at other times, and what tasks you are expected to complete. Ask for a list of tasks and whether it is possible to have a handover with the previous incumbent.
The club will depend on your support if you take on a new role, so only take it on if you feel you can complete your duties for the whole season. Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience and you will take out of the role what you put in. You will have the chance to learn new skills, make new friends and make a difference to the teams involved at your club.