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Club News

Academy Philosophy/Policies

1 October 2013

Academy Philosophy

All players will receive a thoroughly rounded football education which will equip them to be able to perform in any system of play, as dictated by the needs of the game. Players must be technically excellent and tactically competent, appropriate to their stage of development, in order to progress to the next development stage.

There will be no “preferred” system of play but players will be educated in different formations developed over a period of time. Over the course of the season, coaches will use the Academy Coaching Syllabus to enhance the players’ understanding of systems of play.

In possession – in the Foundation and Youth Development Phases players will be encouraged to play out from the back, through the thirds of the pitch with controlled possession.

Out of possession – the Academy will utilise a high pressing system in an attempt to win the ball back within 6 seconds of losing it. If this is unsuccessful the team will retreat into a suitably compact shape in order to prevent passes being played through central areas of the pitch.

In transition – the Academy will attempt to utilise a “fast break” counter attacking system when appropriate. If the situation does not allow it, a system of controlled possession will be employed. 


Culture of the club/Academy 

• Honesty 

• Determination

• Respect

• Enthusiasm

The values of the club are very much Chairmen led. ‘Realism’ is a phrase that must be spread throughout the organisation. Realism to what? To the club, the community and the level in which we play at. The philosophy must be incorporated into the values and vice versa. 

Our community is a one of working class people with the appreciation for the simple aspects of life.  All players (9-16) are expected to shake the hand of each staff member upon arrival and when leaving. They are expected to have good manners – enforced by the staff – and be well attired. There are many things my club cannot provide but our players will be smart and courteous at all times. However, what we can and will provide is a safe, protected environment where these values can flourish in every player that represents the club.

Child Protection Policy Statement

Every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates in football and sport should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football and sport.

The Rotherham United Youth Department has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure duty of care in safeguarding all children involved in its activities from possible harm. The welfare of children and young people accessing our provisions is paramount.

All children have a right to protection regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

The Rotherham United Youth Department will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in their activities through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines. 

Policy Aims

The aim of the Rotherham United Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice by:

Establishing and maintaining an environment where children and young people feel happy, safe and secure.

Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in our care

Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues. 

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.


Jake Henry,

Child Welfare Officer, 

AESSEAL New York Stadium,

New York Way, 


S60 1AH. 


The FA/NSPCC Helpline  (Tel 0808 800 5000)

24 hour free and confidential helpline

ChildLine  (Tel 020 7650 3200)  Free national telephone helpline for children 24 hrs 0800 1111.

Kidscape (Tel 0207 730 3300)

An organisation committed to help prevent child bullying

Children Access and Assessment Team (Tel 01709 823987)




The purpose of the social media policy is to clarify the rules for using social media websites, so that employees are clear what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

Social media is the term commonly given to websites, online tools and other information communication technologies which allow users to interact with each other in some way by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests.

Examples of social media include podcasts, message boards, social networking such as Facebook, Linked In, Bebo and MySpace and content sharing websites such as YouTube.  It is important that we use these technologies and services effectively and flexibly to develop the business by supporting innovation and providing a framework of good practice.


Social networks do not offer a cloak of anonymity so when representing Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC) Ltd, employees are representing a public brand and can therefore publicly damage the Company’s reputation with inappropriate posts.

Access to social media websites is provided so that employees can perform their job roles; all posts/interactions on behalf of the Company should comply with guidelines provided by the Club.

Personal use of social media should be restricted to non working time eg breaks, lunch time or outside of work.

For social media there is no clear line between employees’ work life and their personal lives.

Privacy does not exist in social media so even if an employee posts in their own time, inappropriate comments can impact on the Club, its customers, suppliers, business partner and employees.

Employees are encouraged to think before posting; public posts are indexed in search engines and private comments can be forwarded or copied and easily made available to the public.

Employees should be aware that what is posted on personal pages could impact on them professionally.

Employees are expected to treat customer, suppliers, business partners and other employees with the same level of respect that they would expect to receive.  Negative comments may be classed as harassment or bullying and will be treated in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

Information that is confidential to Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC) or its customers or suppliers eg future plans or financial information should never be revealed.

The Rotherham United logo should not be used on any employees personal profile or for personal use.

Employees should not post material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful or embarrassing to any other person.

Positive ways for clubs to use social media

• By giving fans and followers an insight into life ‘behind the scenes’, ie fun but appropriate stories from the training ground, team coach, dressing room etc.

• Engaging and interacting with supporters to promote the club and encourage attendance at games – including replying to their comments and questions wherever feasible and appropriate.

• Posting positive reactions to news relating to your club, such as confirmed transfers/good results/strong individual performances.

• Promoting club initiatives, commercial partnerships, community engagements and charity events.

• Promoting club successes

The Legal and Regulatory Framework

It is possible to commit offences online and via social media, and/or incur civil liability in respect of, for example, defamation.

With regard to football’s regulatory framework, social media activity by all ‘Participants’ in domestic professional football is covered under Rule E of the Football Association’s  rules.

FA rules define ‘Participants’ as:

“an Affiliated Association, Authorised Agent, Competition, Club, Club Official, Licensed Agent, Player, Official, Match Official, Management Committee Member, Member or Employee of an affiliated Club and all such persons who are from time to time participating in any activity sanctioned either directly or indirectly by the Association.

Therefore all club officials, employees, managerial/coaching staff and players are subject to FA Regulations.  It is therefore of the utmost that all participants recognise they are ambassadors for their sport with a responsibility to portray the game in a positive light and not bring it into disrepute.

The FA guidelines state:-

• All comments on social networking sites may be considered public comment by The FA.

• Any comments which are improper, bring the game into disrepute or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to disciplinary action.

• Comments about match officials which imply bias, attack the officials’ integrity or are overly personal in nature are considered improper.

• Comments which include a reference to a persons’ ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability may be considered aggravated and attract a higher disciplinary sanction.

• Re-tweeting another person’s post may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper.

• Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting, whilst advisable, does not prevent disciplinary action being taken.

• An individual is strictly responsible for any posting on his/her account.  Participants should take every care to ensure that others do not access their account, as the fact that a posting or comments may have been made by a third party will not prevent disciplinary action being taken against the account holder.

Care also need to be taken by participants to ensure that tweets/posts do not breach any relevant regulations or codes of practice of any other body.

The Potential Audience

When using social media, it is important that participants are aware that:-

• The potential audience is unrestricted in terms of age, gender, nationality and number

• Participants should be particularly minded that their tweets will be read by children of all ages, and so whatever they post must be suitable for a family audience

• The audience may include journalists who may follow a participant as a resource for information about the club

• People may try to provoke a response from a participant on social media sites that will be significantly more newsworthy

• Other users of social media may not be who they seem, or may not use their real identities on social media sites

• Comments made in the heat of the moment may be regretted in the cold light of day

Club and Team Matters

Under this Social Media policy any sensitive information about the club or other players is strictly prohibited.  The following are examples of what is prohibited but this is not an exhaustive list.

i Information that is confidential to the club or to a fellow employee such as:

a information about team selections, injuries and tactics;

b information about possible transfers

c information about a player which the club may nevertheless reasonably regard as confidential, eg information about contractual discussions, or about his fitness or any medical treatment he is undergoing

d information about a teammate posted without the individual’s consent (and where appropriate, such as in the case of information about the teammate’s fitness, without the club’s consent); and

e contact details of colleagues (phone numbers, email address, BBMs etc)

f any disciplinary issue regarding any employee

ii Criticism of the club, its manager, playing tactics, players, directors or staff.

iii Criticism of match officials

iv Endorsements of brands/goods/services which conflict with those of the club’s main commercial partners (or of The Football League’s commercial partners) contrary to clauses 4.3 and 4.4 of the standard player’s contract (and save as permitted by those clauses);

Players’ Contracts

Under the terms of the standard players contract players must:

“observe the rules”

These include the rules of The FA and The Football League.  Additionally players must not:

“Knowingly or recklessly do, write or say anything or omit to do anything which is likely to bring the Club or the game of football into disrepute or cause the Player or the Club to be in breach of the Rules or cause damage to the Club or its officers or employees or any match official.  Whenever circumstances permit the Player shall give to the Club reasonable notice of his intention to make any contributions to the public media in order to allow representations to be made to him on behalf of the Club if it so desires.”


Users of social media sites should also exercise caution when tweeting/posting about betting and in particular should tweet nothing which could be interpreted as a breach of either Football League or FA rules prohibiting betting.

Special care is needed as these rules prohibit not only direct betting on a competition in which the club is competing that season, but also instructing or enabling another person to bet, and providing ‘inside information’, such as details of team selections, injuries and tactics, that are not publicly available to another person who then uses it in relation to betting.


If you have any doubt about acceptable/unacceptable content you should contact    who is responsible for the club’s social media output



1 Policy

It is the policy of Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC) Ltd (“the Club”) to treat all employees and job applicants fairly and equally regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, disability or union membership status.  The Equality and Diversity Policy is written in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

Furthermore the Club will ensure that no requirement or condition will be imposed without justification which could disadvantage individuals purely on any of the above grounds.

The policy applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions or employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer and every other aspect of employment.

Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC) will regularly review its procedures and selection criteria to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and otherwise treated according to their relevant individual abilities and merits.

The Club is committed to the implementation of this policy and to a programme of action to ensure that the policy is, and continues to be fully effective.  The overall responsibility for the policy lies with Lisa Carder, Human Resources Officer.  However, all staff are required to comply with the policy and to act in accordance with its objectives so as to remove any barriers to equal opportunity.

Any act of discrimination by employees or any failure to comply with the terms of the policy will result in disciplinary action.

2 Principles

Rotherham United Football Club (RUFC) is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst the workforce.

Staff will be treated equally regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age.

All RUFC staff are responsible for ensuring that their behaviour towards colleagues, customer and suppliers is reasonable, fair and non-discriminatory

All RUFC supervisors, managers and directors are responsible for ensuring that inappropriate behaviour that breaches the Equality and Diversity Policy is dealt with promptly and equitably.

RUFC employment practices including recruitment, training, development and promotion will be based on merit, will be non-discriminatory and will meet legislative requirements.

RUFC wishes to employ people from a wide range of backgrounds with varying experiences and skills so that the workforce is diverse and has representatives from different areas of the community.

3 Procedure

3.1 Anyone wishing to make a complaint about a breach of the Equality and Diversity Policy should use either the Grievance Policy, or the Anti Harassment Policy, dependent upon the circumstances. (Please speak to your Line Manager or Human Resources Officer for advice if you are unsure which to use).

Acts of discrimination, harassment or bullying will be treated in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy.

3.2 Equality and diversity issues will be incorporated into RUFC training programmes where appropriate.

The Equality and Diversity Policy will be reviewed annually.



1 Background

The Company is an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to ensuring within the framework of the law that our workplaces are free from unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

We aim to ensure that our staff achieve their full potential and that all potential employment decisions are taken without reference to irrelevant or discriminatory criteria.  We have adopted the following equal opportunity statement as a means of helping to achieve these aims.

2 What is discrimination

2.1 Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage on discriminatory grounds in relation to his or her employment.  Direct discrimination may occur even when unintentional.


A woman with young children fails to obtain a job because it is feared that she might be an unreliable member of staff

A Sikh applicant for a senior post is not appointed because he might not “fit in” with the existing (all white) team

A person is subjected to sexual innuendo or other offensive conduct of a sexual nature at work.

2.2 Indirect discrimination occurs where the individual’s employment is subject    to an unjustified condition which one group finds more difficult to meet although on the face of it the condition or requirement is “neutral”


A requirement for GCSE English as a selection criterion.  This would have a disparately adverse impact on people educated overseas and may not be justified if all that is needed is to demonstrate a reasonable level of literacy.

Full time work – this would have a disparately adverse impact on more women with small children as they are generally accepted as taking the primary childcare role.  It may not be justified if our business needs can still be met more flexible working arrangements.

2.3 Disability discrimination occurs where an individual is unjustifiably disadvantaged in employment/recruitment for a reason connected with his/her disability unless the discrimination cannot be avoided by making reasonable adjustments


A requirement for staff to hold a valid driving licence for a job which involves little travelling

Failure to recruit a wheelchair bound member of staff without first considering whether the working arrangements or premises can reasonably be adapted to his needs

2.4 Victimisation occurs where an individual is treated less favourably than colleagues because he/she has taken action to assert their statutory rights or assisted a colleague with information in that regard

2.5 Sexual Harassment occurs where there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which results in the individual feeling threatened or compromised in any way

2.6 We are committed to ensuring that all our staff and applicants for employment are protected from unlawful discrimination in employment

3 Implementing equality of opportunity

3.1 Recruitment and employment decisions will be made on the basis of fair and objective criteria.  Our selection procedures are reviewed from time to time to ensure that they are appropriate for achieving our objectives and for avoiding unlawful discrimination.

3.2 Person and job specifications shall be limited to those requirements which are necessary for the effective performance of the job.  Interviews will be conducted on an objective basis and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary.

3.3 In accordance with recommended practice the ethnic and gender composition of our staff and applicants for jobs will be monitored at all levels.

3.4 Appropriate training will be provided to enable staff to implement and uphold our commitment to equality of opportunity.

3.5 Working patterns will be reviewed so as to enable us to offer flexible working to staff with childcare responsibilities where possible.  Where necessary special provision will be made for training for staff returning to work following a break for domestic reasons.

3.6 Consideration will be given to developing action programmes to promote equality of opportunity.  This will include, where appropriate, a programme of positive action to encourage the development of those who are comparatively under-represented in certain positions so that they can benefit from employment opportunities on equal terms.

3.7 All staff have a right to equality of opportunity and a duty to implement this policy.  Breach of the equal opportunity policy is potentially a serious disciplinary matter.  Anyone who believes that he or she may have been disadvantaged on discriminatory grounds is entitled to raise the matter with their superior or a senior member of staff.


Dr P. Martin is available via appointment to see Academy players accompanied by parents between 8:25 and 8:55 am on Friday mornings at Kimberworth Medical Centre:  01709 551157.

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