Setting Up a Club
Help with First and Second Steps
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.
Clubs must appoint a chairman, treasurer and secretary to enable the club to function effectively within our rules and regulations. It is also suggested that additional people are appointed to assist in other administrative areas of the club.
It will be important to raise funds to run the new 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 they may wish to enter. All discipline at Essex grassroots is administered by us and the secretary of the club is responsible for ensuring 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 County Welfare Officer.
It is compulsory for all affiliated clubs to be covered by public liability and personal accident insurance. Details of these can be found with your affiliation information.
Clubs will need to affiliate to us (determined by whether your home ground is situated in Essex and the league they wish to join).
Please note, 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 players aged under 18. Requirements and further information can be found on the 'Safeguarding & Welfare' 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 the hire of a pitch (unless this is arranged by the league), notify opponents and match officials of kick-off time and the location of the venue.
For away games, arrange to inform your own team of the venue and kick-off time and arrange for the transportation of players. All County FAs 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. We only deal with fixtures relating to their own Essex County 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. 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, tasks on the day of the game, discipline and the club Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Ensure you pass on the results of your matches to comply with competition regulations. All clubs are recommended to establish good relationships with the local media to publish results, match reports and interesting stories about their club. Good public relations 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 us and the 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 (e.g. weekly training, monthly management and annual general meetings). Also attend relevant league or Essex 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 us for approval.
Subscription: Set a subscription for players and members to meet your costs for the season. Carry out fundraising (appropriate to the club).
Delegation: Club secretaries/team managers should seek support from other members to spread the administrative workload, where practical.
Confirm Fixture: For example, the kick-off time, colours, directions to ground, availability of pitch with groundsman, match officials.
Pitch: Ensure the 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: You should always have a well-stocked pitchside medical bag in case of injury or illness on matchday.
Results: Ensure the result card is completed and posted to the appropriate league official, to arrive by the designated time. Please note, the competition may require the result to be confirmed by telephoning the appropriate official. The level of detail on the result card (e.g. players, goalscorers, substitutions, injuries) 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.
Annual General Meeting: Arrange an AGM and/or presentation evening.
A copy of your club accounts must be posted or E-Mailed to us by the 30th September each season.
Rules and Regulations
FA Rules and Regulations ensure fair play in the grassroots game, both on and off the pitch. Find information about the following areas here.
- Laws of the Game
- Safeguarding & Welfare