This code sets out the standards of personal behaviour, and conduct expected of members, to serve on the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) of Everton Football Club (EFC). Failure to observe its stipulations shall be regarded as a breach of this code, and may incur disciplinary action up to and including removal from their position under the provisions set out in the FAB’s complaint policy.
The position of FAB member carries with it a responsibility not only to fellow FAB members, but also to stakeholders who the FAB engage with. Additionally, FAB members also bear a general duty of care that their actions and decisions should be in the best interests of the EFC fanbase.
Duties and Responsibilities
These can be summarised as the duty:
- to ensure all actions taken by the FAB are within the law of the land;
- to ensure FAB business is conducted in accordance with its Terms of Reference;
- of good faith; and
- to take care.
Obeying the Law
Members must ensure that any campaigns, meetings and any other activities upon which the FAB may embark do not bring the FAB into conflict with the law.
Duty of Good Faith
FAB members have a duty of good faith, which can be broadly summarised as:
- truthfulness and honesty – this involves acting with complete truthfulness and honesty in any dealings with, or on behalf of, the FAB;
- treating as confidential certain information which comes to their knowledge concerning EFC’s affairs, especially when so designated, and certain discussions within FAB meetings, similarly designated; and
- acting at all times in the best interest of the EFC and its fanbase – this means ensuring that FAB members never use their position to obtain a benefit or advantage for themselves, for other people or organisations.
Duty to Take Care
The duty to take care includes:
- reading papers before meetings, and coming to meetings properly prepared;
- asking questions if further explanation or information is needed, and raising questions in appropriate manner when not satisfied with the answers given;
- taking advice from independent advisors when that is needed in the best interests of the FAB and EFC;
- accept decisions made by the FAB and EFC, even if they disagree with the outcome and voted against;
- not making public comment(s) criticising FAB decisions, or act in such a way contrary to the spirit of the Terms of Reference – this shall be deemed a disciplinary offence; and
- doing their best – FAB members should aim for the highest standards they can achieve. A member who does not give an appropriate level of commitment to the FAB’s affairs is failing in their duty.
Standards of Behaviour
In all duties carried out within, and on behalf of, the FAB, members are expected to show appropriate standards of behaviour. This is necessary to ensure the FAB can function properly and that it can play its appropriate part in EFC’s overall governance structures.
FAB members will observe the following general standards:
- In their dealings with each other, the EFC fanbase and EFC employees, treating people politely, fairly and with respect in all forms of verbal and written communication (including social media);
- In all dealings with each other and when representing the FAB, refrain from using discriminatory language and behaviour, including upholding at all times the protected characteristics of others as set out in current Equalities legislation; and
- At FAB meetings:
- accepting the authority of the chair of any meeting;
- listening to the views of colleagues and Club employees with an open mind, seeking advice or clarification where needed, expressing their own views, and coming to their own decision on individual matters in good faith in what they believe to be in the best interests of the Club and EFC fanbase;
- not resorting to behaviour that could be considered to be discriminatory, offensive, aggressive or intimidating; and
- keeping to the agenda, raising other issues under ‘any other business’ according to agreed procedures, and not engaging in discussions during the meeting which are not relevant to the issues of the meeting.
FAB members will observe the following obligations of confidentiality:
- They will not disclose any information outside the FAB unless it is already in the public domain, or they are specifically authorised to do so;
- They will not use any such information for personal advantage;
- Unless so authorised, they will not pass information to any representative of the press or media, and will refer any press or media enquiries to the appropriate person; and
- They will take proper care of any documents they receive as FAB members and store them securely.
Conflicts of Interest
FAB members must disclose any material interest which they, their spouse or partner, close family member, or close friend or business associate holds in any:
- business which is providing goods or services to EFC; and
- public body or voluntary organisation with which EFC has or is likely to have any dealings.
Unless a prior decision is taken to the contrary, no FAB member may take part in any discussion on a matter in which they have an interest.
Hospitality and Gifts
FAB members should not solicit or accept hospitality, goods, services, gifts or any other benefit, that may compromise either their position or the FAB, or may lead others to perceive that the integrity of the FAB member has been compromised. An exception of this is in circumstances when working meals or refreshments are provided.
Breaches of Code and Complaint Procedure
All FAB members accept that they must comply with this Code if the FAB is to be able to function properly and efficiently and do its job.
Where a FAB member is alleged to be in breach of any element of this Code or the FAB Terms of Reference, the process laid out in the FAB Complaints Policy should be followed.