How to remove the club President

The proper procedure to remove the club President

If the President of your sports club is ineffective or unwilling to undertake the role as required, then the last resort is to seek to remove the club President from the role. This is a highly dramatic step and should only be considered after absolutely every other option has been explored and exhausted.

When some club members are unhappy with the leadership of their club they are quick to think the only option is to mount a coup and oust the President. But the reality is that this should always be considered the very last option. Prior to this, those unhappy with the President should talk to them directly about their issues.

Often those raising the issues will be surprised at the President’s response. Many Presidents underestimated the work involved in the role and are unsure how to ask for help. This results in the President perceived to be struggling when in fact they simply have taken on too much responsibility. Open and honest conversations that explore the issue can be very positive if approached by trying to understand the President’s perspective. Unless you have been in the role of President it is very difficult to understand the challenges and pressure they face. It can be a daunting job.

Remember, if the current President does not want to vacate the role, then actively seeking to replace them can cause a lot of stress and conflict around the club. This could ultimately be very detrimental. If removing the club president is the only option then it is no different to removing any other committee member. In most cases, the procedure will be laid out in the club’s constitution/rules as well as the incorporations act for your state. It is incredibly important that these processes are followed to the letter.

Step 1

Review the incorporations act relevant to your state. Depending on where your sports club is registered, some states/territories allow clubs to specify provisions in the rules on how and when a committee member may be removed.
For example, the club rules may state that a committee members may be removed if they miss four consecutive committee meetings without an apology.

Step 2

Read your club’s constitution/rules. Often, these specify how to remove a committee member in what circumstances. A certain number of votes by the directors may be required, constitution/rules may set term limits for all officers. The process may or may not be different when the officer in question is the president.

In some clubs, the President is elected by committee members while in others the President is elected by the members.

Step 3

Meet privately with the President and explain again why you believe they should resign. The President may choose to resign voluntarily if they are aware somebody else is willing to take up the role. Unless the committee member resigns or a specific procedure is set forth in the constitution/rules, it will be up to the committee to remove the president.

Step 4

If the President chooses not to resign then the only alternative is to seek a vote as per the Rules of the club. Depending on the rules of your club, this may require a special general meeting to be called. This may only be called in specific circumstances according to your club rules. Alternatively, if the committee elects the President, then a committee member may be able to seek a vote of no-confidence for the full committee to vote on.

Again, the correct process to follow is the process defined in your club rules. In most instances, it may be appropriate to seek legal advice or assistance from your state peak sports body.

Step 5

Record the decision. The secretary will be responsible for making a record of the decision. They will note how many members voted in favour of removal. This record will form part of the Minutes of the meeting in which the vote took place.

Step 6

Vote to appoint a new president. In many states, clubs are legally required to have a president. The board must decide upon a new person to assume the position once the current president is removed.

Step 7

Formally notify members and club stakeholders of any change. Always be respectful to the outgoing President.  If you have had to remove the club president, make sure to initiate the process of rebuilding the “bridge” between the club and the outgoing President. Great servants of a club are lost through these types of situations too often.

So you’re President, now what?

So... you’re Club President, now what? Where do you start? These are questions we get so often at Sports Community. Presidents asking: what should we do first? We like to start with a few...