A Proposed Fresh Way Ahead





Having been invited to look at the current management structure and its relevance to today, I would now recommend change by introducing functional Boards into a new Club Management Structure. Managed by their own Convener(s), who would be elected to reflect different skill sets, the new Operational Boards would also allow and encourage an increased number of club volunteers to become involved in both hands-on and advisory roles. Boards would create their own individual operational budgets and targets as part of an overall Club Business Plan but would also monitor their own progress on an on-going basis and be responsible directly to the Club Management Board on which each Operational Board would be represented.  The Club Management Board would monitor the overall Club Business Plan and report transparently on it by communicating regularly with club members.



The following Boards would be created on adoption of the proposed management structure by the Club members:


  • Playing/Player Development Board responsible for ALL aspects of playing, recruitment, fitness, strength & conditioning, medical support, fixtures and with the primary objective of creating winning team(s) at all Senior levels, including Women’s Rugby. This Board would not have a hands-on role in team selection but Team Management, including Coaches, would report to this Board as would all Development Officers.


  • Finance & Business Board would be responsible for planning and managing revenue generation, grants, sponsorship and membership as well as general financial management; by necessity, the Treasurer (aka Financial Controller) would be part of this Board but not necessarily its Convener.


  • Bar & Clubhouse Management Board would be responsible for direct revenue generation via bar management and licensing compliance, issues relating to the fabric of the clubhouse (including maintenance and cleaning), and for stimulating events’ creation, including the use of the clubhouse by external bodies for social events.


  • Youth Development Board would be responsible for promoting and coaching, as part of the care and development, of all Age Grade players and teams and with arranging and managing

fixtures, travel arrangements, etc. Would also be responsible for communicating the values and ethos of The Game to young people and ensuring that players, coaches, parents and spectators adhered to an acceptable and defined Code of Conduct.



  • Communications, Media & Marketing Board would be responsible for keeping members and others aware via social media, web site and local media of what’s happening or being proposed. This would require data collection and management of members’ e-mail links and uploading to relevant media as well as actively promoting a positive role and image for AARFC within the local community.



Each individual Operational Board would be represented on the Club Management Board by its appointed Convener; the Club Management Board would be chaired by the President and contain in its ranks two ex-officio directors drawn from the membership to monitor progress by providing checks and balances. The Club Secretary and Treasurer would also sit on this Board in an advisory role along with a Vice President appointed by the AGM as part of an on-going succession plan; the Vice President would be on the Board as a full member.


  • The Club Secretary would provide an admin function for day-to-day administration and be the conduit with the SRU and other external bodies to ensure that the Club was fully compliant with Player Registration and all other domestic and international regulations. The Club Secretary would also maintain and monitor active volunteering.


  • The Club Treasurer/Financial Controller would provide a financial control service with responsibility for authorising Purchase Orders against agreed Budget Centres, checking deliveries of goods and services, and making regular payments; the Controller would also issue monthly P&L Reports and arrange Invoicing promptly.


  • The specific role of the Immediate Past President would be to liaise with the SRU Club Business advisor in developing and monitoring The Vision and Growth Plan, progress on which would be communicated to members via the Communications & Media Board.
  • The President would be an ex officio member of every Board with an over-viewing and ambassadorial role as well as liaising with ALL external bodies, including MFF, SRU, NAC and the local Sports Hub. The President would chair the Club Management Board.



The role of the MFF Trust in club governance requires to be addressed urgently to clarify the legal and fiscal relationship between the MMF and the Club. In the interim, Ground maintenance, including maintenance of flood and training lights, would revert to MFF Trustees with direct liaison between the MFF and the Club Management Board on future relationships.


Bill Nolan                                                                                                                                      April 2016




As the incoming President for Season 2016/17, Bill Nolan will present this discussion paper on possible management re-structuring towards the end of the Annual General Meeting on Monday 25th April 2016. The paper will then be considered over the next few weeks for possible adoption at a Special General Meeting towards the end of May. If adopted, it will be implemented with immediate effect for Season 2016/17 and, with some posts being reshaped, may lead to fresh elections.


These proposals are broadly in line with parts of the current Constitution in that individuals will continue to be responsible for core functions but within a different framework. Responsibility for delivery moves to the operational Boards and their Conveners with more volunteers involved in different ways as befits their skills and levels of interest. Transparency in decision-making is at the heart of it all with more direct and indirect consultation

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