This policy sets out the process by which the Everton Football Club (EFC) Fan Advisory Board (FAB) should investigate complaints or charges that a member may, directly or indirectly, have breached the terms of the Code of Conduct that the FAB has signed.
A potential policy breach may come to light through a number of sources including, but not limited to:
(a) An issue arising during the course of a meeting that cannot be resolved by immediate intervention of the Meeting Chair to the satisfaction of all parties;
(b) A complaint from an individual (who may or may not be a member of the FAB);
(c) A complaint made via EFC; or
(d) An anonymous whistle blower.
Reported breaches should be addressed through the escalating stages detailed below until resolved in accordance with this policy.
Informal consideration of evidence, and discussion, with directly affected persons, by the FAB secretary (unless they are the subject of the action, in which case a FAB member shall be appointed by majority vote of the FAB). At this stage, the matter can be resolved by:
(a) Determining that there is no case to answer; or
(b) Amicable resolution to the satisfaction of all parties.
At all times during the investigation the following rules and protocols will apply:
(a) All relevant documents and materials should be made available in advance to all parties.
(b) Cases may be conducted through written exchange of communication, but the respondent has the right to request face to face proceedings (including through remote audio or visual channels).
(c) Either party may present the evidence of witnesses to material facts of the case.
(d) Confidentiality should be maintained until final resolution. At the conclusion of proceedings, the panel will attempt to agree a joint statement if appropriate.
(e) No person with a direct connection to the accused or who is connected to material facts of the case can participate as part of a Disciplinary Committee.
(f) Any person who is involved with the initial informal consideration may not be involved in the Disciplinary Panel.
(g) The accused may request a person to attend proceedings alongside them as an observer.
Where a case is proven, sanctions should be applied that reflect the seriousness of the breach and any previous proven breaches of the relevant code by the accused person. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to one of more of the following:
(a) No action necessary;
(b) Mutually agreed resolution such as an acknowledgement or apology;
(c) Written warning/reprimand;
(d) Agreed corrective action by the accused member(s);
(e) Suspension from elected position on the FAB for a defined period;
(f) Termination of elected position on the FAB;
(g) Suspension of FAB membership for a defined period; or
(h) Expulsion from the FAB.
No member expelled from membership as a result of disciplinary action shall be re-admitted except by majority ruling of the FAB.