Behind the Scenes - task of the Club Secretary

Last updated : 15 September 2010 By Fargone

Arbroath6263soccerstarThe duties of a football club Secretary - Dr Gary Callon Arbroath FC

Weekday Duties

For my daytime job, I work at Dundee University and although my working day is supposed to start at 8.45am, I am generally at my desk by just after 8 o’clock. This forty five minutes is often useful to try and get some of the football related tasks done which may include writing letters, filling out returns or answering emails.

I rarely go out at lunchtime and often spend it working on things related to the Club.

volunteerDuring my actual working day, I also have a degree of flexibility in taking any phone calls that come in to me directly for the Club such as from the SFA, SFL or other Clubs and to speak to other Directors who may be doing things for the Club, the Manager and Mike Cargill in our office.  

It is also my responsibility during the week in the run up to a match to confirm colours with opposing sides and the match referee and to ensure that the suspension lists have been checked. If any new players are signed or taken in on loan then it is my responsibility to make sure that the paperwork is in order and lodged with the footballing authorities to their satisfaction. All mail into the Club via letter and email has to be dealt with and I am regularly at Gayfield for a short time in the evening when I get back from Dundee to collect and look at any letters that are there. I may also take some spare time in the evening to reply to any correspondence.  Although I am assisted by Mike Cargill in our office, ultimate responsibility is with me.

Match Day Duties

todoOn a match day, I combine the role of Secretary with Safety Officer for Gayfield. I will come onto what the Safety Officer part involves later. I get to Gayfield for about 1 o’clock (though if there has been any player movements I may have been doing some phone calls and faxes in the morning). I will also be the contact point to liase with the opposing Club Secretary, match officials etc. if there is a doubt over the match due to the weather. By about 1.30pm, I am advised of the team from the Manager and it is my responsibility to ensure that all players are eligible to play. I then write the team line out and ensure that a copy goes to the referee at least 1 hour before kick off. I also exchange teamlines with opponents and pass it onto the Manager. I then type all the team details into the team sheets which are then printed and made available (on a match day up to 100 of these might be done). As Secretary, I am first point of contact for the match officials and they will ask to see me to arrange for any issues they are not happy with to be sorted out. After the match is over, I ensure that the team line is completed and faxed to the SFL or SFA depending on the match. By about 5pm, Secretarial matters are usually complete for the day and I will then go and help the some of the other Directors who have been looking after the hospitality area and Boardroom.


Club Representative

Several times during the year, there are times when I make myself available as an official representative for the Club for various matters, including audits from the SFA and SFL and attending seminars and courses. I try and fit these around my working day, though sometimes will take annual leave for the Club to do them. Preparation to have things ready and in place is important for the audits. Certain times of the year can be very busy and surprisingly the close season is one of these when much has to be done with regards to player registration paperwork and returns.

Safety Officer

With regards to the position of Safety Officer, it is now a legal requirement under the Green Guide for spectator safety at stadiums for the Club to have a designated Safety officer who has or is working towards a level 4 qualification. I am working towards this and gave up 6 days of my annual leave last year to attend an appropriate course towards level 3. I also spent a lot of time completing assessments for 6 modules in my spare time.  I have just started my level 4 course which will primarily involve match day assessments. I therefore take time in the days before and on the day of a match ensuring that the stadium is safe for the match to take place.

Company Secretary

As well as the footballing side of things, I also act as the Company Secretary for Arbroath Football Club Ltd. There is also much to do with this side of things. Again I handle all correspondence and submit necessary returns to Companies House. I also meticulously look after the Register of Shareholders for the Company. All meetings of Directors or General Meetings of the Company are required to be minuted, which I also take responsibility for.