We, the united fans and supporters of the Seattle Sounders Football Club, are dedicated to protecting, upholding, and furthering the interests of the greater Sounders community. For this purpose, we join together to create this Alliance, where we shall find strength in our common purpose: the success of the Seattle Sounders FC on the field and in the community.
Article 1- Name
The name of this organization shall be the Seattle Sounders Football Club Alliance (“Alliance”).
Article 2- Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of this organization shall be:
- To speak with a unified voice on behalf of the Sounders community.
- To ensure that fans and supporters have an impact on specific matters regarding or affecting the community.
- To provide the community with an open forum for all fans to express their opinions about the Club, the MLS, and American soccer.
- To be a compass, always striving to guide the Sounders towards triumph on and off the field.
- To protect the crest, which is the symbol of our Club, our city and our region- our home.
- To serve as the conscience of the Sounders community.
Article 3- The Alliance
The primary account holder of a season ticket package containing 50% (or more) of the Sounders’ MLS league games is an Alliance member. If the account has more than one seat, the account holder may designate one additional person for Alliance membership for each additional seat on the account. This designation is irrevocable and lasts until the end of the season when it was made.
Membership in the Alliance may also be purchased; the price shall be $125 a season.
The Alliance shall hold an annual general meeting, open to all members. This meeting shall be scheduled and planned by the Council; it shall be held between November 25th and December 10th, with the preferred date to be the first Friday in December.
Article 4- The Council
The Council is an elected body which shall serve as the representative of the Alliance and has a responsibility to the community as a whole.
To serve on the Council a person must be (and remain) a member in good standing of the Alliance (by any method in Article 3), and must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the Council term. Procedures for being elected to the Council shall be established in the Bylaws.
Council members shall serve a two-year term. The actual dates of this term shall be specified in the Bylaws of the Alliance.
The Council shall hold regular business meetings. The first meeting of a term shall be scheduled in February; then business meetings shall be held monthly, with last meeting of the term to be in November. Notice of meetings shall be sent via email to all Council members at least two weeks in advance of a meeting and shall include the agenda for that meeting. The Council may set its own rules regarding visitors or observers to these meetings. Minutes of these meetings shall be kept and posted regularly.
The Council shall invite the Club ownership to attend, at minimum, the meetings in March, June, and November, and additional meetings as needed. These will be regular business meetings but also include a significant amount of time for discussion between the ownership and Council on any issues that either party deems fit.
Article 5- Officers of the Alliance
The Alliance Council shall have the option of designating an Honorary Chairman of the Alliance.
The Council shall elect, from its membership, a Council President to a one-year term. The President shall preside over Council Meetings and General Meeting(s). The President shall be responsible for distributing Council-determined or Alliance-determined opinions and resolutions to the Alliance, Club, media, and public, but shall not speak on behalf of the Council.
The President shall retain full voting rights and privileges on the Council.
Council Vice President
The Council shall elect, from its membership, a Vice President to a one-year term. The Vice President shall preside over Council Meetings and General Meetings if/when President is not available. The Vice President shall assist the President in carrying out the Presidential duties and is limited to the same powers as the President.
The Council shall elect, from its membership, a Council Secretary. The Secretary shall keep minutes of Council meetings and shall publish those meetings to the Council, Alliance, and general public.
Article 6- Supporter Groups
A “supporter group” is a recognized, independent organization made up of passionate supporters of the Sounders.
Because supporter groups have unique requirements, their activities within their designated sections shall not be infringed upon by the Alliance without the approval of each/any supporter group affected.
Supporter Groups have a unique relationship with the Club that exists outside of the Alliance. The Alliance recognizes this and shall not interfere with it. Likewise, the supporter groups shall not use that relationship to interfere with the Alliance or its business.
Article 7- Ratification and Amendment procedures
This constitution shall be put forward to the Alliance for ratification by gaining at l east two-thirds of all legal votes cast by the Council, with a quorum of 50% +1 required to be present; and it shall be declared ratified if it is approved by at least a two-thirds majority of all legal votes cast by Alliance members.
Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by any Alliance member. Proposed amendments shall be reviewed by the Council and to be approved require a two-thirds vote of all legal votes cast by the Council with a quorum of 50% + 1 required to be present; then require a two-thirds vote of all legal votes cast by the Alliance general membership.
RATIFIED by the Alliance Council on 11 June, 2011
Bylaw 1) Alliance Membership
The Council shall designate one (or more as needed) of its members to work with the Club to implement methods and procedures for identifying Alliance members via the Club’s season ticket holder records and records of paid memberships.
Bylaw 2) Alliance-wide Voting
There shall be at least two periods per year for Alliance-wide votes on binding resolutions or non-binding opinion statements by the Alliance. The first will be February 1 until the date of the Sounders first regular season MLS game; and the second will be October 15 through November 15th.
The Council may (with a two-thirds vote of all legal votes cast by a Council quorum) establish a special election period of at least two weeks (or longer if the Council deems necessary) at any time.
Bylaw 3) Methods of introducing topics for a binding vote or non-binding opinion statement
To initiate a vote on a binding resolution or opinion statement by the entire Alliance, the question must be approved for the ballot by a two-thirds vote (of all legal votes cast) of the Council forum.
Any Council member may bring such an issue forward, and if seconded, the Council shall hold a vote on the issue. Prior to voting to put an issue to the entire Alliance, the Council shall invite the Club to attend a meeting and discuss the issue fully.
Additionally, the Club may request the Council to vote on any issue that the Club sees fit; such a request does not require a sponsoring Council member or second. All requests from the Club shall receive consideration, discussion, and a vote by the Council, and the Club shall be entitled to send a Club representative to the Council meeting to speak on the issue during the discussion.
After a vote to place the item on the ballot and with at least 30 days’ prior notice, the question shall be considered by the entire Alliance during the next upcoming Alliance-wide voting period established in Bylaw #2.
Bylaw 4) Election rules for Council
To be elected and retain membership on the Council, a prospective member must be a member in good standing of the Alliance.
Election to the Council requires 25 votes in a single Annual Election Period. The Annual Election Period shall begin on February 1 and end on January 31st of the next year.
If a member achieves the required vote total prior to July 1st, their term starts immediately and runs through the end of that season and until January 31st of the following season.
If a member achieves vote total on or after July 1st, their term shall begin the following year on Feb 1 and runs two full years.
The Council executives shall be given, by the Club, full access to the raw, live voting totals. They may distribute these vote totals as they see fit.
The Council executives shall work with the Club to create a web page where declared candidates for election may publish biographical information to the Alliance membership for the purpose of facilitating their candidacy.
Members of the Council who were elected in 2009 shall remain on the Council until November 24, 2011. Members of the Council who were elected after July 1, 2010, shall remain on the Council until January 31, 2013.
Bylaw 5) Procedure for creating and amending bylaws
Bylaws shall be proposed and amended by this procedure. A Council member may propose, in writing, a bylaw at any meeting of the Council; it shall be placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled business meeting of the Council. An issue shall require a second to receive discussion by the Council. If approved by at least a majority vote (of all legal votes cast) of a Council quorum, the bylaw (or amendment) shall take effect immediately or as designated in the language of the proposal.
Bylaw 6) Rules of Order, quorum is defined
The rules of order for the Alliance and Council shall be the latest edition of “The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure”, by Alice Sturgis. These rules shall apply unless otherwise specified in the Alliance constitution or bylaws.
A Council quorum for any actions by the Council (other than approving minutes of previous meetings, discussing current or future meeting agendas, etc) shall require at least 50% of the elected Council members, plus 1.
Bylaw 7) Supporter Groups recognition
Supporter groups are an integral part of the Sounders community and gameday experience. As such, the Alliance wants to encourage the growth of existing groups as well as the formation of new groups.
The relationship between supporter groups, the Alliance, and the Club, has a unique nature. As such, it benefits all of these parties to have a set of minimum standards for groups to attain, demonstrating their commitment.
Therefore, for formal recognition as a supporter group, groups must meet the following standards:
- At least 25 identified, paid members
- Identified group leadership who are responsible for coordination and can speak on behalf of the group
- Organized participation as a group in activities like songs, chants, tifo, etc.
- Established history of conducting supporter group activities for the Sounders
- Have registered articles of incorporation with their local state
Supporter groups may apply to the Council for recognition, and the Council will invite the leaders of the group to a meeting for discussion prior to a vote. A majority vote of all Council members present is required for recognition.
Supporter groups may annually request renewal of their recognition from the Council; renewal is automatic (assuming it is requested).
Recognition may be withdrawn by the Council with a two-thirds vote of all Council members present and voting at a meeting; such votes will always be taken with at least one month’s notice to the supporter group in question.