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Club Policies

The Adult price for each area of the ground is the full price for admission.

Concessionary prices are offered in all areas of the ground and these are in fact discounts on the full admission price.

In regards to the date for purchasing Season Tickets the date for determining age categories will be the 1st September in the season in which the Season Ticket will operate.

In regards to the date for purchasing individual match tickets either on or before the day of the game, or for cash admissions on the day, your age on the day of the game will determine which age category that you come under.

AGE CATEGORIES * There will be two categories of junior supporters

Junior* 2 and Under
Junior* 16 and Under
Young Persons 21 and Under
Adults 22 to 65
Senior Over 65

Where the club offers a concessionary price, the club reserves the right to request proof of age and it is the responsibility of the person claiming the concessionary price to provide the required proof, if adequate proof is not provided when requested the full admission price will be charged.

Photographic ID, which contains the Date of Birth (example: Passport – Driving License) is required for all Young Persons and a ticket must be purchased from the ticket office.

Rochdale AFC strongly recommends that anyone who may appear to look older than they actually are carries photographic ID, which also contains their date of birth in order to claim a discount, this advice is particularly relevant to ALL TEENAGERS.

The majority of matches at the Crown Oil Arena are a mixture of ticket and cash admissions. Separate turnstiles apply to Adults, Concessions and Juniors but the club recognises that some adults may wish to have their children go through the same turnstile, to accommodate this club requests that the adult purchases a ticket for their child from the ticket office.

Disabled concessionary prices are only available to disabled supporters who are in need of the use of a wheelchair and these concessionary prices are only available in the wheelchair bays. The club reserves the right to request proof of disability and if requested it the responsibility of the disabled person to provide the required proof, if adequate proof is not provided when requested the full admission price will be charged.

Persons requiring a full time carer to accompany them to the match can get a carer ticket, which is free of charge. A carer ticket will only be issued if the person can show evidence of full time carer status, we will also accept a letter showing that disability allowance is in the middle or higher band.

The Club has put in place a range of processes to ensure the safety of all supporters at our matches, however it is vitally important that all attendees play their part in making each event safe and enjoyable and to do so we need your continued support and co-operation. Supporters are therefore kindly reminded of the requirement to always adhere to this Code of Conduct, and follow all safety requirements, to assist Club staff and stewards, and to help protect you and your fellow fans. 

  • Supporters must not attend if they are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, are feeling unwell, or if they have been in close contact recently with anyone experiencing symptoms or who has tested positive. In the event you develop COVID-19 symptoms whilst at the stadium, please notify the nearest member of Club staff immediately.
  • Plan your journey in advance and arrive at the stadium in plenty of time. We ask supporters to arrive between 1:30pm and 2:30pm to ensure you have enough time to get to your seat.
  • Please ensure that you bring your match tickets with you on matchday. You can either download the ticket as a QR code to your phone wallet or print at home using the attached PDF copy. 
  • Please avoid bringing large bags into the stadium and only do so if absolutely necessary, to avoid slowing down the stadium entry processes.
  • We advise supporters to bring ID with them as spot checks will be undertaken.
  • Upon entering the stadium, please pay close attention to signage, floor markings and instructions issued by stewards or via the club’s PA system, this will help get you where you need to be in the most efficient way.
  • When using toilet facilities, please follow all guidance, be patient and considerate towards other users, and wait your turn to avoid toilets areas becoming crowded. Where possible, try to avoid peak times (such as half-time and the end of the game).
  • Always maintain good hand hygiene around the stadium – use the sanitiser dispensers provided and avoid touching your face or handles and railings whenever possible.
  • Please remain in your seat for the full game if possible – and avoid unnecessary movement. If you need to move, wait until gangways are clear, avoid face-to-face contact and follow stewards’ instructions.
  • We all hope we will be celebrating a goal but please remember to maintain safe distances to other supporters and be respectful and mindful to those around you whose individual circumstances may differ from your own.
  • Please refrain from touching the match ball if it is kicked out of play and into the stands. A member of Club staff will collect the ball in order to sanitise it and return it to the field of play.
  • Supporters are kindly asked not to approach any of the Club’s or visiting Club’s players or coaching staff at any time, as players and staff will not be able to sign autographs or pose for photographs.
  • Please be patient when leaving the stadium and listen to the advice from stewards. It will take longer than normal to leave due to the procedures in place to allow supporters to exit the stadium safely and efficiently.
  • The Club reserves the right to eject any supporter that fails to comply with this Code of Conduct and reminds all fans that stadium capacities may ultimately be negatively impacted because of any safety issues.

Thank you for your support and full co-operation. Please stay alert, follow these guidelines, and help us all enjoy the match safely.



Rochdale AFC works across the borough of Rochdale to be inclusive and anti-discriminatory and works closely with the EFL, The FA and Kick it Out.

Football Clubs should be accessible to everyone and so it is important that the right culture is promoted. Rochdale AFC want to ensure that the Club is a place that is child and family friendly, free from discrimination and unfair behaviour and will do everything they can in-order to achieve these objectives.

Rochdale AFC is currently looking to achieve the required standard for the ELF's Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Code of Practice and undergoing a complete review of all areas of its business.

Rochdale AFC is committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect; by recognising inequalities exist, by taking steps to address them and by providing access and opportunities for all members of the community. It is about changing the culture and structure of our Football Club to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.

Rochdale AFC's commitment is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, race (ethnic or national origin) pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief, disability or age (the protected characteristics). We will ensure that we treat people fairly and with respect and that we will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in, and enjoy our activities.

Rochdale AFC will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of any individual, which for the purposes of this statement and the actions and sanctions applicable is regarded as discrimination, whether physical or verbal. This includes any form of 'Hate Crime' which is a crime targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person's disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. The Club will work to ensure that such behaviour is met with the appropriate action in whatever context it occurs including inappropriate posts through social media.

Rochdale AFC is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants and requires all staff to abide and adhere to the equality legislation, Equality Act 2010, as well as any amendments to this act.

Rochdale AFC commits itself to the immediate investigation of any claims, when it is brought to their attention, of discrimination on the above grounds and where such is found to be the case, a requirement that the practice stop and sanctions imposed as appropriate.

The content of this statement applies equally to the treatment of our staff, customers, supporters, clients and suppliers and is fully supported by the Board of Rochdale AFC.

If you have a complaint or witness an incident of discrimination, harassment or bullying we would ask you to report it directly to Chairman Simon Gauge and Club Equality Champion, Nicola Toolan, and Kick it Out.


The English Football League is responsible for setting the standards, values and expectations of all Clubs in relation to equality, inclusion and diversity. Football is for everyone; it belongs to, and should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to participate in it, whether as a player, official, staff member or spectator. 

The aim of Rochdale AFC Equality Policy is to promote our own equality objectives and in doing so, help to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. All Rochdale AFC representatives should abide and adhere to this Policy and to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. In doing so, we are working towards being legally compliant in relation to equality legislation.

Rochdale AFC commitment is to promote inclusion and to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership race, nationality, ethnicity (race), religion or belief, ability or disability, pregnancy and maternity and to encourage equal opportunities. These are known as ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010.

This Policy is fully supported by the Board of Rochdale AFC and Chairman Simon Gauge is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Rochdale AFC will ensure that it treats everyone fairly and with respect and that it will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in, and enjoy, its activities. Every staff member, Board member, official, spectator, fan and visiting teams an be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to work and watch football in an environment without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.

Complaints and compliance
Rochdale AFC regards all of the forms of discriminatory behaviour, including (but not limited to) behaviour described in the Appendix as unacceptable, and is concerned to ensure that individuals feel able to raise any bona fide grievance or complaint related to such behaviour without fear of being penalised for doing so. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, member or volunteer, spectator or fan who is found, after a full investigation, to have violated the Equality Policy.

Positive Action and Training
Rochdale AFC is committed to equality inclusion and anti-discrimination as part of The Football League’s Code of Practice. Rochdale AFC will commit to a programme of raising awareness and educating, investigating concerns and applying relevant and proportionate sanctions, campaigning, widening diversity and representation and promoting diverse role models, which we believe are all key actions to promote inclusion and eradicate discrimination within football. This Equality Policy will be reviewed and updated, if required, on an annual basis.

APPENDIX – Relevant legislation and forms of unacceptable discrimination

Legal rights
Discrimination has been legally defined through a series of legislative acts, including the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act 2006.

In April 2010, the Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent. The Equality Act 2010 is a new law which harmonises where possible, and in some cases extends, protection from discrimination. It applies throughout the UK and came into force in October 2010.

Discrimination refers to unfavourable treatment on the basis of particular characteristics, which are known as the ‘protected characteristics’.

Under the Equality Act 2010, the protected characteristics are defined as age (employment only until 2012), disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status (employment only), pregnancy and maternity, race (which includes ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality), religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.

Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals are protected from discrimination ‘on grounds of’ a protected characteristic . This means that individuals will be protected if they have a characteristic, are assumed to have it, associate with someone who has it or with someone who is assumed to have it.

Forms of discrimination and discriminatory behaviour include the following:

Direct discrimination
Direct discrimination can be described as less favourable treatment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.

Indirect discrimination
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied to an individual or group that would put persons of a particular characteristic at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons.

Discrimination arising from disability
When a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and this unfavourable treatment cannot be justified, this is unlawful. This type of discrimination only relates to disability.

Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or which creates an intimidating or hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.

It is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because he or she has made allegations or brought proceedings under the anti-discrimination legislation, or because they have helped another person to do so. To do so would constitute victimisation.

Bullying is defined as a form of personal harassment involving the misuse of power, influence or position to persistently criticise, humiliate or undermine an individual.

Notice: Entry to the Ground is expressly subject to acceptance by the visitor of these Ground Regulations and the rules and regulations of FIFA, UEFA, The Football Association, The Premier League and The English Football League (EFL) in respect of the relevant competition. The Ground Regulations incorporate the Club’s Customer Charter (if any). Entry to the Ground shall constitute acceptance of the Ground Regulations.

“Ground” means this football stadium and all locations owned, occupied or utilised by the Club.

“Club” means this football club.

“Match” means any association football match (or any part or aspect of such a match) taking place at the Ground.

“Material” means any audio, visual and/or audio-visual material and/or any information or data.

“Football Authority” means each of The English Football League (EFL) League, The Premier League, The Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, FIFA, UEFA and any other relevant governing body of association football.

1. Notwithstanding possession of any ticket the Club, any police officer or authorised steward may refuse entry to (or eject from) the Ground any person:

1.1. that fails (or in the Club’s reasonable opinion is likely to fail) to comply with these Ground Regulations or any reasonable instruction issued by a police officer or authorised steward or officer of the Club; and/or

1.2. whose presence within the Ground is, or could (in the Club’s reasonable opinion), constitute a source of danger, nuisance or annoyance to any other person.

2. On no account will admission be granted to a person who is the subject of a current Banning Order under the Football Spectators Act 1989 (as amended) or has been convicted of ticket touting offences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order 1994 (as amended).

3. The Club excludes to the maximum extent permitted by law any liability for loss, injury or damage to persons/property in or around the Ground.

4. No guarantees can be given by the Club that a Match will take place at a particular time or on a particular date and the Club reserves the right to reschedule the Match without notice and without any liability whatsoever, save only to the extent provided pursuant to paragraph 5.

5. In the event of the postponement or abandonment of the Match, refunds (if any) will be made in accordance with the Club’s Customer Charter. The Club will have no further liability whatsoever, including (but not limited to) any indirect or consequential loss or damage, such as (but not limited to) loss of enjoyment or travel costs.

6. All persons seeking entrance to the Ground acknowledge the Club’s right to search any person entering the Ground and to refuse entry to or eject from the Ground any person refusing to submit to such a search.

7. The following articles must not be brought within the Ground - knives, fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, weapons, dangerous or hazardous items, laser devices, bottles, glass vessels, cans, poles and any article that might be used as a weapon and/or compromise public safety. Any person in possession of such items will be refused entry to the Ground.

8. Further, you may not bring into the Ground:

8.1. any sponsorship, promotional or marketing materials save in respect of official club merchandise and/or other football related clothing worn in good faith;

8.2. any flags or banners larger than those maximum dimensions permitted by the Club from time to time (or, in the absence of such stipulations, 2 metres x 1 metre) and/or of an offensive nature;

8.3. nor may you offer (either free or for sale by any person) any goods(including literature) of any nature,

Without the express written approval of Club’s Management.

9. The use of threatening behaviour, foul or abusive language is strictly forbidden and will result in arrest and/or ejection from the Ground. The Club may impose a ban for one or more Matches.

10. Racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment is strictly forbidden and will result in arrest and/or ejection from the Ground. The Club may impose a ban for one or more Matches.

11. The following acts are offences under the Football (Offences) Act 1991 (as amended):

11.1 The throwing of any object within the Ground without lawful authority or excuse.

11.2 The chanting of anything of an indecent or racialist nature.

11.3 The entry onto the playing area or any adjacent area to which spectators are not generally admitted without lawful authority or excuse.

Conviction may result in a Banning Order being made.

12. All persons entering the Ground may only occupy the seat allocated to them by their ticket and must not move from any one part of the Ground to another without the express permission or instruction of any steward, officer of the Club and/or any police officer.

13. Nobody may stand in any seating area whilst play is in progress. Persistent standing in seated areas whilst play is in progress is strictly forbidden and may result in ejection from the Ground.

14. The obstruction of gangways, access ways, exits and entrances, stairways and like places is strictly forbidden. Nobody entering the Ground shall be permitted to climb any structures within the Ground.

15. EFL stadia are smoke-free and smoking is not permitted inside the Ground.

16. Mobile telephones and other mobile devices are permitted within the Ground PROVIDED THAT (i) they are used for personal and private use only (which, for the avoidance of doubt and by way of example only, shall not include the capturing, logging, recording, transmitting, playing, issuing, showing, or any other communication of any Material for any commercial purposes); and (ii) no Material that is captured, logged, recorded, transmitted, played, issued, shown or otherwise communicated by a mobile telephone or other mobile device may be published or otherwise made available to any third parties including, without limitation, via social networking sites.

17. Under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 (as amended), the following are offences for which a person can be arrested by a police officer and conviction could result in a Banning Order being made:

17.1 Attempting to enter the Ground or being inside the Ground whilst drunk;

17.2 Being in possession of any intoxicating liquor, or bottle, can or other portable container and which could cause damage or personal injury, when entering the Ground or in a public area of the Ground from which the event can be directly viewed.

18. Any individual who has entered any part of the Ground designated for the use of any group of supporters to which he does not belong may be ejected from the Ground either for the purposes of his own safety or for any other reason.

19. Save as set out in paragraph 16 above, no person (other than a person who holds an appropriate licence) may capture, log, record, transmit, play, issue, show or otherwise communicate (by digital or other means) any Material in relation to the Match, any players or other persons present in the Ground and/or the Ground, nor may they bring into the Ground or use within the Ground (or provide to, facilitate or otherwise assist another person to use within the Ground) any equipment or technology which is capable of capturing, logging, recording, transmitting, playing, issuing, showing or otherwise communicating (by digital or other means) any such Material.

20. The copyright, database rights and any other intellectual property rights in and to all Material that you produce at the Ground in relation to the Match, any players or other persons present in the Ground and/or the Ground (whether produced in breach of paragraph 19 above, or pursuant to paragraph 16 above, or otherwise) is hereby assigned (including by way of present assignment of future copyright pursuant to section 91 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) to the Club and the EFL. You further agree (if and whenever required to do so by the Club and/ or the EFL) to promptly execute all instruments and do all things necessary to vest the right, title and interest in such rights to the Club and the EFL absolutely and with full title guarantee.

21. No goods (including literature) of any nature may be offered either free or for sale by any person within the Ground without the express written permission of the Club.

22. Tickets are not transferable and may not be offered for sale without the prior written permission of the Club or otherwise in accordance with the relevant ticket terms and conditions. Any tickets that are transferred are transferred subject to these Ground Regulations. Any tickets offered for sale may be confiscated by any steward, officer of the Club or any police officer. The Club reserves the right to refuse admission to or eject from the Ground, and/or “blacklist”, any person who has offered for sale or transferred his/her ticket in contravention of the relevant ticket terms and conditions (and/or the holder of any ticket that has been transferred in contravention of the relevant ticket terms and conditions). Tickets remain the property of the Club at all times.

23. CCTV cameras are in use around and in the Ground. Body worn video cameras recording video and/or audio may also be used as appropriate, to record images or audio which identifies you as an individual, for example to record prohibited behaviours as referenced in paragraphs 9 and 10. The Club may itself use or pass to the police or any Football Authority or other clubs, any recordings for use in any proceedings.

24. At all times whilst present in the Ground, persons must comply with any and all instructions of any steward or officer of the Club and/or any police officer. Failure to comply with any instruction may lead to immediate ejection from the Ground.

25. By entering the Ground, all persons are acknowledging that photographic images and/or audio, visual and/or audio-visual recordings and/or feeds (and/or stills taken therefrom ) may be taken of them and may also be used, by way of example and without limitation, in televised coverage of the game and/or for promotional, training, editorial or marketing purposes by the Club, the EFL or others (including commercial partners and accredited media organisations) and entry into the Ground constitutes consent to such use. You further acknowledge that photographic images and/or audio, visual and/or audio-visual recordings and/or feeds (and/or stills taken therefrom) may be used (by the Club or by a third party, such as a law enforcement body) to identify you as an individual, where permitted by data protection laws, for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime, or any breach of these Ground Regulations. Information about the Club’s use of your personal data will be brought to your attention by the Club (see for example any applicable privacy policy, signage and/or other forms of announcement in or around the ground). For further information please contact the Club.

26. All ticket holders agree that the Matches for which the tickets have been purchased are public, and that their appearance and actions inside and in the perimeter of the Ground where a Match occurs are public in nature, and that they shall have no expectation of privacy with regard to their actions or conduct at Matches.

27. Further to paragraph 25, if such person is under 18 years of age, the parent, guardian, or responsible adult who is accompanying them into the Ground shall be deemed to have provided consent on their behalf.

28. Refused entry to (or ejection from) the Ground may lead to further action by the Club including, but not limited to, the withdrawal of any season ticket (without reimbursement), Club Membership and other benefits.

Published by the EFL – Season 2018/19

Whistleblowing policy (Appendix 2 – Code of conduct)


















How employees can raise a concern






How employees are safeguarded when raising a concern






How we respond






What employees can do if our response does not resolve their concerns






The Monitoring Officer






  • Introduction


  • This policy outlines the process and procedure for employees to raise their concerns if they have reason to believe that wrongdoing is being perpetrated by others at the club. Rochdale AFC is committed to openness, probability and accountability. Whistleblowing is viewed by the club as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to the club’s efficiency and long-term success.

1.2       Whistleblowing occurs when a person raises a concern about dangerous, illegal activity or any wrongdoing within their organisation. It can involve sharing potentially vital information about health and safety risks, possible fraud, harm of children or vulnerable adults, covering up for someone and other serious activities.

1.3       This policy applies to all our employees, players and young people, employees of contractors working for us (e.g., agency staff, builders and drivers), employees of suppliers and those providing services under a contract or other agreement with us, voluntary workers working with us and people who in the course of their work come into contact with our employees.

  • Rochdale AFC wants to encourage and enable employees to raise their concerns at an early stage and to do so in the right way. This includes any occasion when an employee is concerned that their colleagues are acting unlawfully and / or where there are concerns that colleagues are breaching the club’s Code of Conduct and its other operational or financial rules. It is not disloyal to colleagues or to the club to make a disclosure. It is essential issues are addressed immediately, so employees should ‘blow the whistle’ as early as possible to prevent any real damage being done.


  • This policy is approved by the Board of Directors where additional support is available. It explains what Rochdale AFC wants employees to do if they have concerns, clarifies their rights and responsibilities, identifies the steps which employees can take and puts this into the context of the Public Disclosure Act 1998 and the Employment Rights Act 1996.


  • Although this policy provides guidance on how issues should be raised with the club, it does not preclude any employee from reporting an issue with the police in conjunction with the whistleblowing process, where it is believed that criminal activity is involved.


  • Other procedures exist to register a grievance about an employee’s own employment. If an employee has an individual complaint relating to their employment, for example, their contract of employment, pay or conditions, this should be raised under the club’s Grievance Policy.


  • This policy is non-contractual and as such we may review, amend or withdraw this policy from time to time in line with changes to employment legislation or organisational needs.


  • Principles

2.1       We want all employees to understand how to report issues and know who to report them to; secure in the knowledge that their concerns will be treated seriously, dealt with sensitively and with due confidentiality. Employees will be given full support from senior management and the club will do all it can to help employees throughout the investigation.

  • How employees can raise a concern

3.1       The first step depends on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues and who is thought to be involved. Whenever possible, employees should normally raise concerns with their immediate manager or superior. If an employee believes that management is involved, they then should approach The Senior Safeguarding Manager followed by the Chief Operating Officer and the Board of Directors. If the complaint is against the Chief Operating Officer then they should contact the Chair of the Governors c/o the Clerk to the Corporation. Complaints against the Governing Body should also be addressed to the Clerk to the Corporation.

3.2       Employees will not be expected to prove the wrongdoing, but will need to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are sufficient grounds for concern.

3.3       Concerns should be raised in writing.

3.4       If an employee does not feel able to put the concern in writing, they can telephone or meet one of Appropriate Officers at the club. They are used to working in complete confidence and are trained to listen carefully.

3.5       Alternatively, advice and guidance on how matters of concern may be pursued can be obtained from the appropriate officer. Within the club these are;

Simon Gauge

01706 644648

Nicola Toolan


Roy Thickett

07860 704584

Ryan Bradley



3.6       The final route is to invite a trade union or a professional association to raise the matter through our whistleblowing procedure on the employee’s behalf.

4.0 How employees are safeguarded when raising a concern

4.1       This policy has been written to take account of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 which protects workers making disclosures about certain matters of concern, when those disclosures are made in accordance with the Act’s provisions.

4.2       The Act makes it unlawful for the club to dismiss anyone or allow them to be victimised on the basis that they have made an appropriate lawful disclosure in accordance with the Act.

4.3       The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and Employment Rights Act 1996 clearly define what types of disclosure qualify employees for protection against dismissal and detrimental treatment by your employer. These are known as ‘protected disclosures.’

4.4       The following qualify as a protected disclosure:

  • Criminal offences (Section 43B(1)(a), ERA 1996).
  • Breach of any legal obligation (Section 43B(1)(b), ERA 1996).
  • Miscarriages of justice (Section 43B(1)(c), ERA 1996).
  • Danger to the health and safety of any individual (Section 43B(1)(d), ERA 1996).
  • The deliberate concealing of information about any of the above (Section 43B(1)(f), ERA 1996).

4.5       A disclosure will also be protected if the information disclosed is of a nature that shows that any of the above is likely to be deliberately concealed.

Harassment or victimisation

4.6       We will not tolerate harassment or victimisation by those involved with the matters of concern or from others. It will take action to protect employees when they raise a concern in the public interest. Rochdale AFC takes its responsibilities in this seriously as it is responsible as the employer for any detriment caused.

4.7       Due regard and sensitivity will be exercised by all involved in the process to ensure that employees do not suffer detrimental treatment as a result of raising a complaint.

4.8       If employees are already the subject of disciplinary or redundancy procedures, those procedures will not be halted as a result of an employee whistleblowing.

Anonymous Allegations

4.9       This policy as a whole encourages employees to put their name to the allegation.

4.10     Although concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful, they will be considered taking into account:

  • the seriousness of the issues raised;
  • the credibility of the concern; and
  • the likelihood of confirming the allegation from other, attributable, sources.

4.11     Employees will be unable to be told the outcome of any investigation of a concern which was brought forward anonymously.


4.12     We will do its best to protect employee identity when they raise a concern and do not want their name to be disclosed.

4.13     It is important to note that the investigation process may ultimately need to reveal the employee as the source of information. On some occasions a statement by the employee may be required as part of the evidence.

Untrue allegations

4.14     If an employee makes an allegation in the public interest and reasonably believed it to be true, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against the employee.

4.15     If, however, an employee makes malicious or frivolous allegations, or repeated allegations which have no foundation, disciplinary action will be taken against the employee.

5.0 How we will respond

5.1       The action taken will depend on the nature of the concern. The matters raised may:

  • be investigated internally;
  • be referred to the Police;
  • be referred to a external organisation.
  • form the subject of an independent inquiry.

5.2       To protect individuals and the club, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. Most matters will, initially, be investigated internally. Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific current procedures (for example, child protection or discrimination issues) will normally be dealt with through those routes.

5.3.      Within 10 working days of a concern being received, the cub will write to the employee:

  • acknowledging that the concern has been received;
  • indicating how it proposes to deal with the matter;
  • giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response;
  • informing the employee as to whether any initial enquiries have been made; and
  • informing the employee as to whether further investigations will take place and, if not, why not.

5.4       Some concerns may be resolved by immediate action without the need for an investigation.

5.5       The amount of contact between the officer(s) considering the issues and the employee will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the amount and clarity of the information the employee provided. If necessary, further information will be sought.

5.6       When any meeting is arranged with the employee as a whistle blower, they have the right to be accompanied by a trades union or professional association representative, or a colleague who is not involved in the area of work to which the concern relates.

5.7       We will act as necessary to minimise any difficulties which employees may experience as a result of raising a concern. For instance if, later, employees are required to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings, we will advise the employee directly as to the procedure.

5.8       We accept that employees need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed so, subject to legal constraints, the employee will receive information about the outcomes of any investigations.

6.0 What employees can do if our response does not resolve their concern

6.1       This policy is intended to provide employees with an avenue to raise concerns and to have them resolved within the club. We hope our investigations and the action arising from them will resolve their concern. If not, and the employee feels it is right to take the matter outside the club. In such circumstances, employees should seek advice from the Senior Safeguarding Manager and to ensure correct procedures are followed and that confidential information is not disclosed.

7.0 The Senior Safeguarding Manager

7.1       The Senior Safeguarding Manager has overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this policy. S/he maintains a record of concerns raised and the outcomes (but in a form which does not endanger employee confidentiality).

7.2       Details of all concerns raised and subsequent information will be retained for 10 years. The purpose of this is to ensure that a central record is kept which can be cross referenced with other complaints in order to monitor any patterns of concern and to assist the Chief Executive & Board of Directors in monitoring the effectiveness of this policy.



1          Policy Statement

The Club welcomes comments and complaints from all members of the Club, Academy and Community and from the general public. We use this process to improve our services for stakeholders, fans and the wider community in which we exist.


Rochdale AFC is committed to the continuous improvement of the services it provides. We recognise that, occasionally, mistakes will be made or the service offered will not meet individual’s requirements or expectations. For these reasons it is Club policy that all complaints should be:


  • Treated seriously and in an open manner
  • Acknowledged immediately, preferably in writing
  • Investigated
  • Resolved, wherever that is reasonably practicable, within no longer than 13 working weeks
  • Used as feedback to improve the service which the Club offers

No complainant bringing a complaint under this procedure will be treated less favourably by any member of staff. If there is evidence to the contrary, the member of staff may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.


2          Scope

The policy applies to all members of the Club Academy and Community but does not replace procedures for, staff grievances and disciplinary action: those procedures should be used where appropriate.

Any situation in which an allegation or concern arises about the conduct of a member of staff or volunteer with a person under the age of 18 or a vulnerable adult defined under the capacity act will be instantly referred to Rochdale Childrens Services/Vulnerable Adults LADIO Officer will be managed by the Rochdale Safeguarding children’s Board using their policy for dealing with allegations against a person who works with children/vulnerable adults. 

Allegations and concerns will be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within 24 hours the allegation being made.

In the first instance the process is to make contact with the First Response Team and Duty LADO who will advise as the next stage of referral if required.


3          Legislation

The Human Rights Act 1998 applies to the operation of this policy.


4          Responsibilities

4.1      All Club Staff have a responsibility for receiving complaints, treating them seriously and dealing with them promptly and courteously in accordance with the procedure set out below.


4.2      Senior Managers have a responsibility for resolving a complaint, and leading or contributing to an investigation into a complaint when this is considered appropriate.


4.3      The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for resolving complaints which have not been resolved during the previous two stages. The decision made by the Chief Operating Officer is final.


4.4      The Governing Board is responsible for ensuring that the complaints policy and procedure are operating effectively and may become directly involved if a complaint is directed against the Chief Executive or members of the governing body.


5          Actions to Implement and Develop Policy


5.1      Stage One


The Club expects complaints to be made informally to a member of staff in the first instance. Where this is not possible or does not result in satisfactory resolution, the complaint should be submitted in writing to George Delves, Chief Operating Officer.

The Club usually expects complaints to be made by the person concerned. However, it will consider complaints made by a parent or advocate.

Anonymous complaints cannot be investigated.

All comments/complaints will be forwarded to George Delves, Chief Operating Officer, who will acknowledge receipt within one working week. The Chief Operating Officer will then forward to the relevant Club manager.


5.2      Stage two

The relevant Club manager will respond in writing within one working week, explaining what has happened as a result of the complaint. Where this involves a member of staff, specific detail of action taken will not be made available. This is to ensure that our employees are afforded appropriate dignity at work. 

If the complaint requires further investigation that cannot be carried out within the week, the manager shall keep the complainant informed and specify a date when a response can be given.


5.3      Stage three

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the relevant manager’s response, then the complaint will be forwarded to a member of the Club Senior Management resolve.

The senior manager will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within two working weeks and a final reply will be completed within 8 working weeks to allow time for any formal investigations to take place.


5.4      Stage four (final internal stage)

If the complainant is still dissatisfied with the response, then the matter will be referred to the Chief Executive. The Chief Operating Officer will respond within three weeks. The Chief Operating Officer's decision is final.

The total comments/complaints procedure should be finalised in no more than 13 working weeks unless there are exceptional circumstances in which case the complainant will be kept informed of progress.


5.5      Complaints against the Chief Executive or Members of the Governing Body

Complaints against the Chief Operating Officer should be addressed to the Chair of the Governors c/o the Clerk to the Corporation. Complaints against the Governing Body should also be addressed to the Clerk to the Corporation.


6          Monitoring & Evaluation

6.1      The Club will maintain a confidential record of complaints dealt with to feed into quality improvement processes. The Club will maintain a record of all complaints, appeals and outcomes and produce an annual report for analysis by the Board.

Complaints can also be made in writing and may be submitted by post to:

The Independent Football Ombudsman
Suite 49, 33 Great George Street,

or by e-mail to:

or via the website:

You may initially register your concerns by phone and may wish to leave a message on the IFO Voicemail 0800 588 4066.

Season Card Finance will be available with V12 Retail Finance Limited, payable over 9 months. Applications are only available to persons aged 18 and over and subject to status and affordability. Further details on how to apply for your Season Card via V12 Retail Finance will be announced in due course.

Rochdale Association Football Club, Limited (The) is an Introducer Appointed Representatives of V12 Retail Finance Limited for the purpose of credit broking. FCA number is 679653

Rochdale Association Football Club, Limited (The), The Crown Oil arena, Sandy Lane, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL11 5DR, Company registered number 00111019.”