Grassroots football is played by millions of people each weekend to have fun. It’s a great way of keeping fit physically, while spending time with friends. New teams are regularly set up to meet demand. Before starting up a new team, you should ask: are there enough potential players? Are there enough volunteers to run the club?
Firstly, all clubs need to act within the rules of The Football Association. You will need to write a constitution and appoint volunteers to become club officials. All clubs should appoint a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. In addition, all youth teams must have a Club Welfare Officer and those working with children need to have an FA CRB check.
All clubs should affiliate to their respective County Football Association. Affiliation acts as a quality assurance and a safety net to help protect players, clubs, officials and administrators. Your County FA will advise on suitable league or competition membership for your team/s.
Clubs should understand the rules of the competition they enter. Fixtures are administered by the competition, advising clubs of forthcoming games. For home matches, the secretary must arrange pitch hire and notify opponents and officials the kick-off time and venue. For away games, tell your players the kick-off time and arrange transport if necessary.
The league and cup competitions you enter will have rules regarding player registration. These rules will be provided to you on entering the competition. At this point it is important to organise adequate insurance for players in case of accident or injury. All player discipline is administered by the County FA and the club secretary is responsible for ensuring all players are eligible to play.
You should apply to the relevant Local Authority, Parish Council, non-league team or private pitch owner to hire a pitch for training sessions and home games. Pitch hire costs and terms vary widely, so take note of these and also check if you need to take out insurance. You will also need to organise kit for your team.
As a new club, it will be important to raise funds quickly to cover the essential expenditure such as affiliation fees, league membership fee, pitch hire charges and kit. Decide on the fee for annual player subscription and set up a bank account in the club name.
New club checklist:
- Select club name and colours
- Appoint club officials
- Write club constitution and organise Annual General Meeting
- Affiliate with your local County Football Association and the league you wish to enter
- Produce a list of running costs
- Understand the rules of competitions you wish to enter
- Familiarise yourself with Safeguarding Children rules if running a team including under-18s or vulnerable adults
- Obtain adequate insurance
- Purchase suitable kit and equipment
- Hire pitches for matches and training Raise fund and set up a club bank account
- Notify members of fixtures and liaise with opposition
The attached pdf gives more detail on organising these tasks and click on the links for more advice. If you require further help, contact your local County Football Association.