AC Finchley

A Charter Standard Community Club

In partnership with Non Stop Football

Code of Conduct/Policies

A Code of Conduct for Football

Football is the national game. All those involved with the game at every level and whether as a player, match official, coach, owner or administrator, have a responsibility, above and beyond compliance with the law, to act according to the highest standards of integrity, and to ensure that the reputation of the game is, and remains, high. This code applies to all those involved in football under the auspices of The Football Association.

Community - Football, at all levels, is a vital part of a community. Football will take into account community feeling when making decisions.

Equality - Football is opposed to discrimination of any form and will promote measures to prevent it, in whatever form, from being expressed.

Participants - Football recognises the sense of ownership felt by those who participate at all levels of the game. This includes those who play, those who coach or help in any way, and those who officiate, as well as administrators and supporters. Football is committed to appropriate consultation.

Young People - Football acknowledges the extent of its influence over young people and pledges to set a positive example.

Propriety - Football acknowledges that public confidence demands the highest standards of financial and administrative behaviour within the game, and will not tolerate corruption or improper practices.

Trust and Respect - Football will uphold a relationship of trust and respect between all involved in the game, whether they are individuals, clubs or other organisations.

Violence - Football rejects the use of violence of any nature by anyone involved in the game.

Fairness - Football is committed to fairness in its dealings with all involved in the game.

Integrity and Fair Play - Football is committed to the principle of playing to win consistent with Fair Play.

Code of Conduct for Parents / Spectators

Parents / Spectators have a great influence on children's enjoyment and success in football. All children play football because they first and foremost love the game – it's fun. It is important to remember that however good a child becomes at football within your club it is important to reinforce the message to parents / spectators that positive encouragement will contribute to:

  • Children enjoying football.
  • A sense of personal achievement.
  • Self-esteem.
  • Improving the child's skills and techniques.

A parent's / spectator's expectations and attitudes have a significant bearing on a child's attitude towards:

  • Other players.
  • Officials.
  • Managers.
  • Spectators.

Ensure that parents / spectators within your club are always positive and encouraging towards all of the children not just their own.

Parents and spectators should:

  • Applaud the opposition as well as the Club’s team
  • Avoid coaching any child during the game
  • Show respect towards the match officials and their decisions
  • Show respect towards the opposition
  • Show respect towards the Club’s coaches and players
  • Not enter the field of play except in an emergency

If, as a result of the conduct or behaviour of any parent or spectator, action is taken against the Club or any of its officials or representatives, the parent or spectator in question will be responsible for any fine, penalty or other liability or cost incurred.

Code of Conduct for Coaches

Coaches are key to the establishment of ethics in football. Their concept of ethics are their attitude directly affects the behaviour of players under their supervision. Coaches are, therefore, expected to pay particular care to the moral aspect of their conduct. Coaches have to be aware that almost all of their everyday decisions and choices of actions, as well as strategic targets, have ethical implications. It is natural that winning constitutes a basic concern for coaches. This code is not intended to conflict with that. However, the code calls for coaches to disassociate themselves from a “win-at-all-costs” attitude. Increased responsibility is requested from coaches involved in coaching young people. The health, safety, welfare and moral education of young people are a first priority, before the achievement or the reputation of the club, school, coach or parent. Set out below is The F.A. Coaches Association Code of Conduct (which reflects the standards expressed by the National Coaching Foundation and the National Association of Sports Coaches) which forms the benchmark for all involved in coaching:

  1. Coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of each and every person and treat each equally within the context of the sport.
  2. Coaches must place the well-being and safety of each player above all other considerations, including the development of performance.
  3. Coaches must adhere to all guidelines laid down by governing bodies.
  4. Coaches must develop an appropriate working relationship with each player based on mutual trust and respect.
  5. Coaches must not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  6. Coaches must encourage and guide players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.
  7. Coaches must ensure that the activities they direct or advocate are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of players.
  8. Coaches should, at the outset, clarify with the players (and, where appropriate, parent) exactly what is expected of them and also what they are entitled to expect from their coach.
  9. Coaches must co-operate fully with other specialists (e.g. other coaches, officials, sports scientists, doctors, physiotherapists) in the best interests of the player.
  10. Coaches must always promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone violations of the Laws of the Game, behaviour contrary to the spirit of the Laws of the Game or relevant rules and regulations or the use of prohibited substances or techniques.
  11. Coaches must consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.
  12. Coaches must not use or tolerate inappropriate language.

Code of Conduct for Players

Players are the most important people in the sport. Playing for the team, and for the team to win, is the most fundamental part of the game. But not winning at any cost – Fair Play and respect for all others in the game is fundamentally important. This Code focuses on players involved in top-class football.

Nevertheless, the key concepts in the Code are valid for players at all levels. Obligations towards the game

A player should

  1. Make every effort to develop their own sporting abilities, in terms of skill, technique, tactics and stamina.
  2. Give maximum effort and strive for the best possible performance during a game, even if his team is in a position where the desired result has already been achieved.
  3. Set a positive example for others, particularly young players and supporters.
  4. Avoid all forms of gamesmanship and time-wasting.
  5. Always have regard for the best interests of the game, including where publicly expressing an opinion on the game and any particular aspect of it, including others involved in the game.
  6. Not use inappropriate language. Obligations towards one's own team A player should
  7. Make every effort consistent with Fair Play and the Laws of the Game to help his own team win.
  8. Resist any influence which might, or might be seen to, bring into question his commitment to the team winning.

Respect for the Laws of the Game and competition rules A player should

  1. Know and abide by the Laws, rules and spirit of the game, and the competition rules.
  2. Accept success and failure, victory and defeat, equally.
  3. Resist any temptation to take banned substances or use banned techniques.

Respect towards Opponents A player should

  1. Treat opponents with due respect at all times, irrespective of the result of the game.
  2. Safeguard the physical fitness of opponents, avoid violence and rough play, and help injured opponents.

Respect towards the Match Officials A player should

  1. Accept the decision of the Match Official without protest.
  2. Avoid words or actions which may mislead a Match Official.
  3. Show due respect towards Match Officials. Respect towards Team Officials

A player should

  1. Abide by the instructions of their Coach and Team Officials, provided they do not contradict the spirit of this Code.
  2. Show due respect towards the Team Officials of the opposition. Obligations towards the Supporters

A player should:

1. Show due respect to the interests of supporters.

Code of Conduct for Team Officials

This Code applies to all team / club officials (although some items may not apply to all officials).

Obligations towards the Game The team official should

  1. Set a positive example for others, particularly young players and supporters.
  2. Promote and develop his own team having regard to the interest of the Players, Supporters and reputation of the national game.
  3. Share knowledge and experience when invited to do so, taking into account the interest of the body that has requested this rather than personal interests.
  4. Avoid all forms of gamesmanship.
  5. Show due respect to Match Officials and others involved in the game.
  6. Always have regard for the best interests of the game, including where publicly expressing an opinion of the game and any particular aspect of it, including others involved in the game.
  7. Not use or tolerate inappropriate language.

Obligations towards the Team The team official should

  1. Make every effort to develop the sporting, technical and tactical levels of the club/team, and to obtain the best results for the team, using all permitted means.
  2. Give priority to the interests of the team over individual interests.
  3. Resist all illegal or unsporting influences, including banned substances and techniques.
  4. Promote ethical principles.
  5. Show due respect for the interests of the players, coaches and officials, their own club/team and others.

Obligations towards the Supporters

The team official should

1. Show due respect for the interests of supporters. Respect towards the Match Officials

A team official should

  1. Accept the decisions of the Match Official without protest.
  2. Avoid words or actions which may mislead a Match Official.
  3. Show due respect towards Match Officials.

Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities Policy

As the governing body of the game, The Football Association is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the game at every level.

Football belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, everyone equally. Our commitment is to eliminate discrimination whether by reason of gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or ability and to encourage equal opportunities.

The following policies should be at the heart of your club's activities. Anti Discrimination Policy For Clubs

  • A.C. Finchley Football Club is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the club at every level. Football belongs to and should be enjoyed by everyone, equally. Our commitment is to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or disability.
  • Equality of opportunity at A.C. Finchley Football Club means that in all our activities we will not discriminate or in any way treat anyone less favourably, on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or disability.

This includes:

  • The advertisement for volunteers.
  • The selection of candidates for volunteers.
  • Courses.
  • External coaching and education activities and awards.
  • Football development activities.
  • Selection for teams.
  • Appointments to honorary positions.
  • A.C. Finchley Football Club will not tolerate sexual or racially based harassment or other discriminatory behaviour, whether physical or verbal, and will work to ensure that such behaviour is met with appropriate action in whatever context it occurs.
  • A.C. Finchley Football Club is committed to the development of the programme of ongoing training and awareness raising events and activities, in order to promote the eradication of discrimination within its own organisation, and within football as a whole.

Equal Opportunities Policy

  • A.C. Finchley Football Club is committed to a policy of equal treatment of all members and requires all members of whatever level or authority, to abide and adhere to this general principle and the requirements of the Codes of Practice issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission and Commission for Racial Equality.
  • All members are expected to abide by the requirements of the Race Relations Act 1976, Sex Discrimination Act 1986 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Specifically discrimination is prohibited by:
  • Treating any individual on grounds of gender, colour, marital status, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability less favourably than others.
  • Expecting an individual solely on the grounds stated above to comply with requirement(s) for any reason whatsoever related to their membership, which are different from the requirements for others.
  • Imposing on an individual requirements which are in effect more onerous on that individual than they are on others. For example, this would include applying a condition which makes it more difficult for members of a particular race or sex to comply than others not of that race or sex.
  • Victimisation of an individual.
  • Harassment of an individual, by virtue of discrimination.
  • Any other act or omission of an act, which has as its effect the disadvantaging of a member against another, or others, purely on the above grounds. Thus, in all the Club's recruitment, selection, promotion and training processes, as well as disciplinary matters, it is essential that merit, experience, skills and temperament are considered as objectively as possible.
  • A.C. Finchley Football Club commits itself to the immediate investigation of any claims of discrimination on the above grounds and where such is found to be the case, a requirement that the practice cease forthwith, restitution of damage or loss (if necessary) and to the investigation of any member accused of discrimination.
  • Any member found guilty of discrimination will be instructed to desist forthwith. Since discrimination in its many forms is against the Football Club's policy, any members offending will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.
  • The Football Club commits itself to the disabled person whenever possible and will treat such members, in aspects of their recruitment and membership, in exactly the same manner as other members. The difficulties of their disablement permitting assistance will be given, wherever possible to ensure that disabled members are helped in gaining access. Appropriate training will be made to such members who request it.

Goalpost Safety Guidelines

The Football Association, along with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Health and Safety Executive and the British Standards Institution, would like to draw your attention to the following guidelines for the safe use of goalposts. Too many serious injuries and fatalities have occurred in recent years as a result of unsafe or incorrect use of goalposts. Safety is always of paramount importance and everyone in football must play their part to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.

  1. For safety reasons goalposts of any size (including those which are portable and not installed permanently at a pitch or practice field) must always be anchored securely to the ground.
  • Portable goalposts must be secured by the use of chain anchors or appropriate anchor weights to prevent them from toppling forward.
  • It is essential that under no circumstances should children or adults be allowed to climb, swing on or play with the structures of the goalposts.
  • Particular attention is drawn to the fact that if not properly assembled and secured, portable goalposts may topple over.
  • Regular inspections of goalposts should be carried out to check that they are kept properly maintained.
  1. Portable goalposts should not be left in place after use. They should be dismantled and removed to a place of secure storage.
  2. It is strongly recommended that nets should only be secured by plastic hooks or tape and not by metal cup hooks. Any metal cup hooks should be removed and replaced. New goalposts should not be purchased if they include metal cup hooks which cannot be replaced.
  3. Goalposts which are “home made” or which have been altered from their original size or construction should not be used. These have been the cause of a number of deaths and injuries.
  4. Guidelines to prevent toppling:
  5. Follow Manufacturer's guide-lines in assembling goalposts.
  6. Before use, adults should:
  • ensure each goal is anchored securely in its place
  • exert a significant downward force on the cross bar
  • exert a significant backward force on both upright posts
  • exert a significant forward force on both upright posts

These must be repeated until it is established that the structure is secure. If not, alternative goals/pitches must be used. For reference, you should note that The F.A. and BSI have developed a standard for future purchases (PAS 36:2000), available from BSI. It is hoped this will be developed into a full British Standard in due course.


Club Complaints Procedure

In the event that any member feels that he or she has suffered discrimination in any way, or that the Club Policies, Rules or Code of Conduct have been broken, should follow the procedures below.

  1. They should report the matter to the Club Secretary or another member of the Committee.

Your report should include:

  1. Details of what, when, and where the occurrence took place.
  2. Any witness statement and names.
  3. Names of any others who have been treated in a similar way.
  4. Details of any former complaints made about the incident, date, when and to whom made.
  5. A preference for a solution to the incident.
  6. The Club's Management Committee will sit for any hearings that are requested.
  7. The Club's Management Committee will have the power to:
  8. Warn as to future conduct
  9. Suspend from membership
  10. Remove from membership

Disciplinary Procedure


The Club’s Management Committee is entitled at its discretion to take disciplinary action against any person (player, coach, parent, spectator or other) who, as appropriate:

-­‐     Fails to comply with the relevant Code of Conduct;

-­‐     Fails to pay any fee, fine or other sum due to the Club within 14 days of request;

-­‐     Is booked or sent off;

-­‐     Is guilty of misconduct as charged by the relevant League or FA;

-­‐     Is guilty of undesirable conduct (including acts of violence) or any other behaviour which is likely to bring the Club into disrepute.

For these purposes:

  1. “disciplinary action” includes all or any of the following:

-­‐     verbal or written warning regarding future conduct;

-­‐     suspension from participation in matches for a specified period or a number of matches;

-­‐     suspension from participation in Club activities (eg training, presentations) for a specified period or specified activities;

-­‐     permanent exclusion from the Club and associated de-registration;

(b)“Club’s Management Committee” includes any sub-committee appointed by the Club’s Management Committee to deal with matters of discipline.

(Please note that, as the Club has limited control over parents, carers, spectators and friends, the Club reserves the right to suspend or exclude a player where those accompanying or associated with him or her are in breach/guilty of the matters above. Clearly, such action will be taken reluctantly where it is considered to be the only reasonably practical way of dealing with the offending behaviour or conduct).


The Club Secretary shall notify any person against whom disciplinary action is taken within 7 days of the Club’s Management Committee’s decision


  1. Any person against whom disciplinary action is taken has the right to appeal against such action by giving notice in writing of an appeal to the Club Secretary. Such notice must be given within 14 days of the notification of the relevant disciplinary action.

The Club Management Committee (or any sub-committee appointed by the Club Management Committee for that purpose) will hear the appeal within 14 days of receipt of the notice of appeal. For the avoidance of doubt, the person affected shall be entitled to attend the hearing in person and may be accompanied by a responsible.