This guidance has been developed in response to requests for advice. It is essential that clubs, volunteers, members and players make informed decisions about how they use the internet, mobile phone and email communications.


Social media (including personal and professional websites, blogs, chat rooms and bulletin boards; social networks, such as Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter and My Space; video-sharing sites such as YouTube; and e-mail) are a common means of communication and self-expression. Because online postings can conflict with the interests of the Football Association and its affiliated clubs, volunteers, coaches and players, LCYFC has adopted the following guidelines. Breach of these guidelines may result in disciplinary action.


Everyone involved in football must recognise that the responsibility to safeguard exists both on and off the field of play.


Coaches, club officials, volunteers and others in a position of trust in football need to act responsibly both on and off the field and this includes the use of electronic communications. Coaches, officials and those in a position of responsibility in LCYFC must ensure they communicate responsibly.

The club should

  1. Refrain from publishing comments about other clubs, players or referees and any controversial or potentially inflammatory subjects.

  2. Avoid hostile or harassing communications in any posts or other online communications. Harassment is any offensive conduct based on a person`s race, sex, gender identity, national origin, colour, disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, religion or any other status identified by the Football Association and protected by law.

  3. Identify all copyrighted or borrowed material with citations and links. When publishing direct paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos or videos, give credit to the original publisher or author.

  4. Officials who maintain a website, blog, chat room, video-sharing site, bulletin board or other social media that promotes the club, should remember they are responsible for reviewing responses to online posts and resolving any concerns about the propriety of the responses before they are posted.

  5. If a blogger or any other online participant posts an inaccurate, accessory or negative comment about the club or anyone associated with the club, do not respond to the post and contact the Welfare Officer for guidance/advice.


At no time should there be any personal communications, banter or comments.


Children and young people should be advised by their Welfare Officer /coaches and parents/ carers to always tell an adult they trust about communications that make them feel uncomfortable or where they have been asked not to tell their parents/carer about a communication.


As a general principle coaches, managers etc. should avoid using social networking sites as the primary way of communicating with players.


  • Ensure all the privacy settings are locked so that the page (s) are used explicitly for club matters and are not used as a place to meet, share personal details or have private conversations.

  • Monitor the club social networking pages regularly and remove access for anyone behaving inappropriately.

  • Make sure everyone within your team knows who is responsible for monitoring the content of the social networking areas and how to contact them.

  • Inform the Club Welfare Officer or other Executive Committee member if you have received inappropriate, threatening or offensive material as this may be needed as evidence.


Unless a child/young person is a direct relation, the coaches, managers, referees, and club officials should not:

  • Accept as a friend - players or referees under 18, on social networking sites they are members of, or share their own personal social networking sites with children or young people involved in youth football

  • Make contact with children or young people known though football outside of the football context on social networking sites.

  • Use internet or web based communications to send personal messages of a non-football nature to a child or young person.

  • Engage in any personal communications, ‘Banter’ or comments.

October 2016

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