Below is a summary of the rules of Bees United, the complete document is available in the Document Archive section.
The Trust is registered as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) with the Registrar of Friendly Societies (RFS). As such, all its actions and conduct will be regulated by the provisions of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1965-1978.
The IPS operates a model rule system and the RFS monitors changes from that model. Everything a Trust does is guided and controlled by its rules and ours is based on the "Model Rules for a Football Community Mutual" produced by a firm of solicitors in Manchester. The model was approved by the RFS and has been adopted by other Supporters' Trusts around the country.
Because it is registered, there are certain restrictions on how the Trust is allowed to operate. The Registrar is responsible for policing all registered organizations and will not for instance, accept any amendments to the rules if they are not in accordance with the democratic and community benefit principles established in the Trust's Constitution. The RFS will not register rule changes that fall foul of the legal requirements for a Trust either.
An IPS is wholly owned by its membership. Every adult member will own one share in the Trust and shares cannot be traded or transferred.
The Constitution guarantees that the Trust will operate for the benefit of the community it serves and that its members and officers will not profit from the Trust.
Among the powers granted by the rules for the attainment of its objectives is the power to acquire an interest in the club (e.g. shares, etc.), the power to establish, promote, and maintain any lawful fundraising scheme and the power to hold and exercise proxies for shares in the club.
The profits or surpluses of the Trust can only be used to maintain or secure the Trust's objectives.
Membership can be open to any person, corporate body or company who is a supporter of the club, or has an interest in the game of football in the area, and who agrees to be bound by the rules of the Trust.
The rules contain machinery for expulsion of members under appropriate circumstances and reserves the committee's right to refuse membership applications.
All members own one share renewable annually, with a nominal value of £1, and this may not be withdrawn, traded or transferred. Once individual membership ceases the share registered in the name of that member will be cancelled and the amount subscribed for the value of the share becomes the property of the Trust. Shares carry no right to interest, dividend or bonus.
The management of the Trust will be entrusted to a Management Committee, though the rules allows other arrangements if appropriate or necessary. The Constitution also allows the Trust's membership to specifically direct the Committee's actions.
There must be a General Meeting every year and an annual report has to be filed with the Registrar. The Trust is duty bound to appoint qualified auditors and accounts have to be presented to both the Trust's AGM and the Registrar. Financial reports should also be presented to every meeting of the Trust's Management Committee.
If the Trust ceases to exist or is dissolved by the membership, any assets remaining after payment of all debts and liabilities will be transferred to a sporting charity or charities operating for the benefit of the community in the area, or as directed by the membership.
A full copy of the Bees United Rules can be downloaded here