Your club should have an appropriate legal status and structure to be able to deliver the club`s vision. The committee needs to be conscious of the standards it should operate to, and of its role in exercising appropriate and effective control of the club through policies, procedures and practices.



A constitution is a guiding document that presents the objectives of the club and clarifies the rules that are in place at the club.

Sample Constitution

It is a basic document which helps to ensure smooth and proper running of club affairs.

What to include in a constitution

A constitution must include the following items:

1.Open to all clause – updated to Equality Act 2010

Please note that this is the wording which must be adopted into the applicant’s constitution or articles for all facilities applications submitted henceforth:-

Membership is open to all and no application for membership will be refused on other than reasonable grounds. There will be no discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex; sexual orientation, political or other opinion.

2.Dissolution Clause  

Please note that the wording of the “dissolution” clause should read:

If, upon the winding up or dissolution of the Club there remains after the satisfaction of all the Club’s debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, the same shall be given or transferred to some other organisation or organisations having objects (that is, aims and activities) similar to the objects of the Club, such organisation or organisations to be determined by the members of the Club by Resolution passed at a General meeting at or before the time of the dissolution, and in so far as effect cannot be given to such provision then to some charitable objects

Governance documents should be gender neutral

It is good practice that a constitution should also include the following:

    • Objectives – what members will be provided
    • Membership Type – details of each membership available – adult, junior, team
    • Subscription rates – weekly, monthly or annual subscription
    • Rules – rules that the club will follow
    • Management – who is on the committee, what they do, how the club will manage matters arising
    • Annual General Meeting – date, number of members required, notice period
    • Extraordinary General Meeting – date, number of members required, notice period
    • Dissolution – In the events that the club will cease to exist detail how the club will spend its remaining funds and how it should be dissolved
What not to include in a constitution

A constitution should not include the following items:

      • A separate male and female membership.
      • Require a proposer and seconder for a membership application.
      • Post prospective members details on a noticeboard.

A constitution should be amended to suit the needs of your club and be aligned with your governing body rules and regulations.

All sport clubs should have a set of rules that guide the day to day management of their club. These rules are often detailed in a club constitution. Remember club rules should align with governing body rules and regulations for your sport.

Guidance for Limited Companies

Memorandum of Association – For companies a constitution is more likely to take the form of a Memorandum of Association with Articles of Association. A memorandum of association is a governing document for a company that includes the members wishes to be a limited company. Articles of association defines the companies responsibilities, the kind of business and states the control the shareholders have on day to day business. Articles of Association typically represent the rights and duties of its members and the company. They should also include the purpose of the company as well as the duties and responsibilities of its members and board make up.

Those looking to start a company should seek legal advice.  You can also contact Companies House which gives useful advice on this topic.