Setting up a club
The vast majority of football throughout the country is played at a local level for personal enjoyment. Before embarking on forming a new team, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are there enough potential players?
2. Are there enough volunteers to take care of club organisation and administration?
Clubs must appoint a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary to enable the club to function effectively within County FA Rules and Regulations. It is also suggested that other people are appointed to assist in other administrative areas of the club.
As a new club it will be important to raise funds to run the club and initially these will probably be from player memberships and subscriptions. It is also advisable to produce a list of costs to run your team which will help you create a budget of income and expenditure for the season. You will be required to send in a copy of your club accounts annually.
It is important that clubs are fully knowledgeable about the rules of each competition that they may wish to enter. All discipline at grassroots is administered by the County Football Association and the Secretary of the club is responsible to ensure that all players are eligible to play. If clubs have any doubts about player eligibility, for example suspensions, they should contact us for details. For youth teams, it is important to be aware of child protection safeguards and advice is available from our Child Welfare Officer.
It is compulsory for all affiliated clubs in your county to be covered by Public Liability Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance. Details of these can be found with the affiliation information.
A Club will need to affiliate to a parent County Football Association (this is decided by where the home ground is situated and the league it wishes to join).
Please note that it is now mandatory for all Clubs with youth sections to have an appointed Club Welfare Officer. This is also recommended for Adult Clubs with under 18 players. Requirements and further information can be found on the Clubs Safeguarding page.
Fixtures are administered by the appropriate competition secretary, who advises clubs of forthcoming matches. If it is a home match, the club secretary must arrange hire of a pitch (unless this is arranged by the league), notify opponents and match officials of kick-off time and location of venue. For away games arrange to inform your own team of venue, kick-off time and arrange for transport of players. All County Football Associations run cup competitions which give an opportunity for teams to play against clubs from different leagues or divisions.
Please make sure you read the relevant rules relating to the league/competition entered to ensure you abide by them. Each league/competition may vary with regard to their requirements. If in doubt contact the league/competition organizers.
Please be aware that the County FA only deal with fixtures relating to their own cup competitions.
If the league does not allocate pitches, apply to your Local Authority, other local teams, Parish council or owner of a private ground to hire a pitch. Please note hire charges will vary.
Purchase suitable equipment prior to the start of your fixtures and ensure you have sufficient equipment for all teams in your club. The necessary equipment will include, playing strip, first aid kit, nets and balls.
See below the Club Action Timetable which covers tasks in pre-season, tasks prior to the day of the game, task on the day of the game, discipline and the club annual general meeting (AGM).
Ensure you pass on results of your matches to comply with competition regulations. For County Football Association competitions, the results are collected by each League and therefore you will only need to notify your own league. All clubs are recommended to establish good relationships with the local press to publish results, match reports and possibly just interesting stories about their club. Good PR will help raise the profile of your club, bring in new players and may even attract some sponsorship.
- Players: Ensure each team has a squad of at least 14 players or the appropriate number for Mini Soccer/Small Sided teams.
- Affiliation: Complete and forward the appropriate documentation and fees to the County FA and league or other competitions.
- Facilities: Arrange pitch(es) which comply with appropriate league regulations and specifications. It is also prudent to arrange/book training facilities early.
- Meetings: Organise club/team meetings (eg. Weekly Training, Monthly Management Meeting, AGM). Also attend relevant league or County FA meetings when required.
- Registration: Ensure all players are registered with the appropriate league (forms will be available from the league). Up to date photographs may be required.
- Friendly Fixtures: Arrange fixtures with secretaries of other affiliated clubs and notify the County FA for approval.
- Subscription: Set a subscription for players and members to meet your costs for the season. Carry out fund raising (appropriate to the club).
- Delegation: Club Secretaries/Team Managers should seek support from other members to spread the administrative workload where practical.
- Confirm Fixture eg. kick-off time, colours, directions to ground, availability of pitch with groundsman, match officials.
- Pitch: Ensure pitch is safe and correctly prepared with nets, flags, markings and access to appropriate changing facilities.
- Match Officials: Ensure match officials have been paid (home team only).
- Refreshments: Provide refreshments where appropriate.
- Medical Bag: Further details can be found on the Pitch Side Medical Bag page
- Results: Ensure the result card is completed and posted to the appropriate league official to arrive by designated time. Please note the competition may require the result to be confirmed by telephoning the appropriate official. Level of detail on result card (e.g. players, goal scorers, substitutions, injuries etc) will be depend on league policy.
- Disciplinary Procedures: This is an ongoing task throughout the season. The secretary and players must complete and return appropriate documentation with fines. A record should be kept of players discipline and ensure any suspended players do not play.
- AGM: Arrange AGM and/or presentation evening.
- A copy of your club accounts must be posted or emailed to the County FA by the 30th September each season.
The FA's Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, players and parents from grassroots to elite football - to help ensure a safe, positive environment in which to play the game.