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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am trustee of a sports club (cricket) where the main club

Resolved Question:

I am trustee of a sports club (cricket) where the main club -(cricket & hockey) appointed two trustees. How does this effect me if the cricket funds are good , but the hockey section is almost in liquidation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Can you confirm whether there is a separate trust that deals tiwh the hockey "division" or whether both hockey and cricket is all dealt with by the same trust?

Joshua :

How many trustees were there (including you) before the appointment of further trustees?

Joshua :

Is there a formal deed of trust in place?

Customer:

No, it is a sports club that has been in existence for at least 50 years. We now find that the cricket section is the driver of all profit and as such wish to put pressure on the hockey section who just use it as a cheap drinking den as they now play on artificial pitches. the real question is that as the cricket trustee, what is my legal position should the hockey section wish to continue when the cricket wish to say "you are not paying your way in terms of rent etc.

Joshua :

in order to assist, I will need to understand a little more about the club structure. You refer to a trust which is a common vehicle for a club.



Is there a formal deed of trust in place?


Customer:

Yes with the local council who own the playing fields and charge us an annual rent for the ground. they charge us on an annual basis, next revision 2017.

Customer:

Why?

Joshua :

Thanks. I believe you may be referring to a lease for the land. This would be a separate matter. are you familiar with the constitution for the club? You refer to a trust in your orginal question. Are you aware whether there is a formal trust That sets out the powers of the Trustees are are you not certain on this point.

Customer:

Yes I think you are right on that , we lease the land and the building/clubhouse which was compulsory purchased by the council from the cricket club in circa 1938. We are responsible for upkeep of the building and now pay the council an annual rent for the facilities. So I think what you are asking is as follows - We appointed two trustees, one from each section -cricket and hockey, one is now supporting the other in a main club (the two sections) so how do I progress their under performing position by letter as the trustee of cricket? The cricket section can carry on, but why should we also support the upkeep of the other section?

Joshua :

thank you. I do understand exactly what you're asking. In order to give you an effective response, I need to get to the bottom of the constitution for the club. Would I be right in concluding that there is no formal documentation between (lets call them for now) the club trustees? for example, in the case of the formal trust, there will be a formal trust deed which is signed by the original trustees which contains all that the trustees respective powers and if any new trustee is appointed, there would be a deed of appointment in respect of that trustee to the trust. Are you aware of any such documentation? It is not at all unusual for clubs not to have formal trust documents in place so it would not be surprising if none existed

Customer:

Understand but not sure if it exists, but can find out. If there is what can I do? If there isn't how do I put pressure on the non profit section to accept that we take over and they pay just rent to us?

Joshua :

It probably doesn't - many clubs have no formal documentation. That's no problem. Before the two new trustees you refer to were appointed, how many trustees were there in total including you?

Customer:

I think just two before the current ones because the trustee before me on the cricket side passed it to me at the age of 85, so lets say there are no docs. So lets say "I'm not happy" with the current financial situation. How do you suggest I proceed? Plus, what if no docs exist am I financially liable to anything?

Joshua :

the reason I asked the above question is that new trustees cannot be appointed to become trustees without unanimous agreement between existing trustees. If you were a trustee prior to the appointment of the two new trustees, your agreement would have been required for their appointment. Trustees must make decisions jointly rather than by the majority vote or otherwise. Accordingly, if you did not agree to the appointment of the two new trustees, then their appointment may be defective

Customer:

I don't wish leave trusteeship merely to let the profitable section carry on making a profit rather than hold up the other section which makes a loss so leaving my post is irrelevant. As cricket trustee how can I use my position on the main committee?

Joshua :

normally a club will have a constitution which provides rules on how the club will make decisions. You may wish to make enquiries as to the existence of the constitution and if none exists, consider whether it would be appropriate to put one in place. The club constitution will normally provide that the committee will make decisions on the majority basis though it is quite possible to provide otherwise

Customer:

OK, thanks that will do, I need to provide you with more info etc.

Joshua :

if you can establish the existence of a constitution which provides the majority decisions which would be relatively normal for a typical club, then you could consider a motion to be brought before the next committee hearing which makes recommendations and suggestions as to how the club can make changes to the nonprofitable aspect of the club. If you have specific ideas on this, you could bring those ideas forward for a vote

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