The purpose of QPR1st
QPR1st was set up as a supporters trust in order to represent the interests of fans in the running of QPR, based on respect for the fan base as the Club’s most important stakeholders. The Trust believes that this can be best achieved by working in close partnership with the Club whilst maintaining a separate and independent identity – in effect being the Club’s ‘critical friend’. The Trust campaigns on ensuring that consultation with independent democratically run supporters groups is embedded into the Club’s policy and practice and is seen as an entitlement rather than a privilege.
Registered membership of QPR1st Supporters Trust is open to any fan or member of the local community who is in agreement with what QPR1st is trying to achieve and is willing to pay a nominal annual subscription fee set by the Committee. Each registered member is considered to have a share in QPR1st which entitles them to vote at any general meeting until such point as they decide to no longer renew their annual subscription.
Any fan or member of the local community who is willing to receive regular email correspondence from the Club is considered an associative member of QPR1st. Until such time as they decide to register, they are not considered to have a share in QPR1st which entitles them to vote at any general meeting although their views on various matters will be canvassed at the discretion of the QPR1st Committee. An option to be automatically removed from the e-membership mailing list is included in each monthly newsletter.
Organisations that the QPR1st Committee consider to share common values and aspirations as QPR1st could be offered affiliated membership. Affiliated members are not considered to have a share in QPR1st and are not entitled to vote at any general meeting. There are currently no affiliated members of QPR1st.
At the start of each season, a Committee will be appointed to run QPR1st until the end of the season. The Committee is required to have between 7 and 15 members.
Towards the end of the season, the current Committee will ask for volunteers to be willing to create a new Committee for the next season. Registered members should be given at least a month’s notice before the deadline for submissions. Persons who are already members of the existing Committee can put themselves forward to become a member of the new Committee.
All candidates should be informed that they should withdraw their request to be an elected member of the committee if they have been:
- a committee member for more than 12 consecutive years;
- declared bankrupt or compounded with their creditors;
- disqualified from being a Company Director;
- convicted of an indictable offence within the last three years.
All candidates are also required to declare any interests they may have that might bring into question their independence as a Committee member (for example if he or she is a Club employee or is related to a member of the Board of Directors). The current Committee will be informed of any declarations made and respond accordingly. The Trust Secretary should maintain a register of any declared interests.
Each registered member will then be sent a letter listing the names of candidates. The acceptance of each candidate as Committee members will be assumed unless a registered member raises an objection or the number of candidates exceeds 15 (in which case members will be balloted in order to select the final Committee members).
On completion of the process, the current Committee will resign and the new Committee will take over hopefully before the new season starts.
If the size of the Committee falls below 7 (including up to 3 co-opted members) then the Committee can only act for the purpose of filling vacancies or calling a general meeting in order to address the issue.
Co-opted members of the Committee
Up to five people can be informally co-opted on to the Committee providing co-opted members remain a minority within the committee. If a person who was co-opted wants to stay on the Committee beyond a year then they will need to undergo the selection procedure outlined above.
The first job of the Committee is to vote in a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. Other Committee members may be allocated to take on other specific roles.
Most committee business will be conducted via the internet. This reduces the need for meetings although the Committee will aim to hold at least four meetings a year either face to face or via internet or phone link. Committee members are expected to contribute on a regular basis to internet discussions and/or attend meetings. Following a proposed action a consultative period (which will normally be at least 48 hours) will be set aside for the Committee to offer comments and reach a consensus. It is the responsibility of Committee members to regularly check their emails in order to ensure that they are to contribute.
Most Committee business will be carried out informally but where it may not be possible to reach a consensus or if an issue is considered particularly significant, a formal vote will be held with the Chair abstaining but having the casting vote in the event of a tie.
Committee members conduct
All members are expected to act with due care and diligence and be ambassadors of QPR1st. A principle of collective responsibility should be followed by which each member is expected to publicly support and abide by the Committee’s decisions (even if they personally disagreed with that decision) or if they feel unable to do so to resign.
When giving a personal opinion within a public content (for example on a message board or internet social network) Committee members should take reasonable steps to ensure that their personal views are not represented as the view of QPR1st.
Gifts or offers of hospitality unless of a nominal value should not be accepted by Committee members from the Club, associates of the Club or other organisations, unless it is agreed by the Committee that it would be appropriate to do so and it is declared at the AGM.
When there are concerns about the actions of a Committee member, these will wherever possible be resolved through informal private dialogue. In exceptional cases, the individual will be asked to resign from the Committee. If the individual refuses to resign then the Committee will carry out a ballot of registered members to obtain permission to remove the person from the Committee.
Any member of the Committee can propose a vote of no confidence in the Chair of the Committee. If the majority of Committee members support this proposal then a special general meeting will be held of the membership to resolve the matter.
Annual General Meeting
Each year the Secretary will call an Annual General Meeting. This will normally occur after April and before the end of the Season. All registered members will receive notification of the meeting at least a fortnight before it is held, either by letter or email and informed about arrangements regarding voting by proxy. The Chair will act as proxy for any members who are unable to attend and do not appoint their own proxy.
The AGM will consist of the Chairman’s report on the work of the Supporters Trust and the submission of the revenue account and balance sheet for the last financial year.
If at least 60% of the registered members are not present at the meeting, any significant issue raised at the annual general meeting will not be determined until confirmed by a postal ballot of the full membership.