CLUB LAW & MANAGEMENT
Questions and Answers
In this edition l have, by popular request, returned to the Questions and Answer format. As always, l am grateful to Clubs for comments and feedback concerning the Magazine.
The first "question" is actually a letter from the Secretary of the County Conservative Club in Cardiff, Mr. Alan Hill. Alan wrote to let me know of the Club’s success in reducing the amount of subscription charged by BSkyB for Sky Sports. I am grateful to Alan for giving his consent for his letter to be published. Alan hopes that other Clubs may also experience the same success following, as he puts it, a "discussion" with BSkyB.
“l thought I would inform you of our latest development of Sky Sports. Our Club has had Sky Sports for the past 15/20 years. Like other Clubs, we have noticed the subscription being increased every year.
Last year our monthly payment was about £750 per month. This cost is based on the rateable value of the property. In today’s climate, a large monthly expenditure!!!
At the A.G.M. held in March, the members voted that it be withdrawn until the Club can reasonably afford it. Sky Sports was then cancelled. Sky has since been in contact with us, and after discussion, we now receive the same package as previous, but at a cost of £261 per month.
The members, are of course, happy with this “‘New Deal".
We have recently elected a new Trustee who states that he wishes to vote at Committee Meetings. Are the Trustees eligible to vote?
Having examined the Club’s Rules, it is clear that Trustees are listed as Officers of the Club, The Rules go on to define the "Committee" as consisting of the Officers and Committee Members referred to in the Rules. Therefore, Trustees are Members of the Committee and, as such, have a right to attend and vote at Committee Meetings.
The question you have raised is not unusual and stems, I believe, from the fact that it is quite common for Trustees not to attend Committee Meetings.
Over time, it becomes so unusual for Trustees to vote that there is a general belief that they do not have voting rights. in all cases, the answer will be found in the Rules which take precedence over custom and practice.
Our Committee has seen advice printed in a Club Magazine published by another Club Organisation, stating that bonuses could not be paid to employees under the Licensing Act 2003. Is this correct?
Section 64 of the Licensing Act 2003 prevents individuals from benefiting, either directly or indirectly, from the purchase of alcohol by the Club. In the case of the supply of drink, the Section states that no arrangements may be made for any person to receive directly or indirectly any pecuniary (monetary) benefit from the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the Club, apart from any benefit accruing to the Club as a whole, or any benefit which a person derives indirectly as a result of the supply contributing to a general gain from the carrying on of the Club.
An agreement, therefore, which provides for an employee to be paid a bonus as a result of a Club’s general funds increasing is not, in my opinion, prevented by the Act.
However, an agreement whereby an employee obtains a percentage or bonus based on the sale or purchase of drink, is not permitted.
My Committee have voted to charge all guest and visitors to our Club a daily membership of £1 and to encourage full membership application. Have you had any experience of this?
lt is not possible under the Licensing Act 2003 to offer membership to guests and visitors in the way you described. By reference to Section 62 of the Act, an interval of two days must elapse between nomination and election to membership, or if no nomination is required, between election and admission to the facilities of membership.
I do understand why your Committee wish to encourage people to visit your Club but the method described does not comply with your Club’s Club Premises Certificate.
May I suggest the Club refers to my Magazine articles of October and November 2007 which contain advice on membership recruitment and club advertising which you may find of assistance.
Our Club has been running a successful "200 Club Lottery" for many years. The rules of the Lottery have remained unchanged since the Lottery was started. However, a clause in the rules which states that a winner cannot win again for a fixed period has been questioned by a Member. We would welcome your comments.
l confirm that the rules of this Lottery breach the fundamental principle of gaming which is that all participants in a game have an equally favourable chance of winning. It is not acceptable for the winners of a game to be excluded from subsequent draws whilst at the same time permitting them to participate.
Whilst l appreciate this Lottery has been running for a number of years without any difficulty. I would suggest that the rule is deleted.