But in Scottish football boardrooms, the unwritten rules can be quite different. Holding office at a senior football club is seen as a prestigious position. But for some, being in that position seems to matter more than the identity of the club.
Yesterday's Scotsman listed the SFA's committee men in full, according to the 2009/10 Scottish FA Handbook. Aside from the board of directors, there are nine different standing committees – professional football, recreational football, appeals, disciplinary, general purposes, referee, medical, emerging and licensing. They are made up of 47 different members.
For many of those members, eligibility requires affiliation through an association. This is where club loyalties become flexible.
There are cases where a change of club has been a necessity of employment. Campbell Ogilvie was secretary at Rangers for 27 years until he lost his full-time position in 2005. A career in football administration – he began his career at the Scottish Football League – was continued when he was offered the post of chief executive at Hearts within a few months of leaving Ibrox.
Ogilvie, the senior vice-president of the SFA, isn't the only leading official with more than one club to his name. George Peat, who Ogilvie will succeed as president, was on the board of his local team Airdrieonians before they went to the wall, and he resurfaced at Stenhousemuir.
The Ochilview club has become something of a repository for directors looking for a new home. Brown McMaster, who was on two SFA committees at the start of this season as well as the board of directors, became a director of Stenhousemuir almost immediately after leaving the board of Partick Thistle following two decades at Firhill. This allowed him to continue as president of the SFL, a role he has since stepped down from.
Dick Shaw, who represents Southern Counties FA at Hampden, was secretary of Queen of the South and now has the same title at Annan Athletic.
But perhaps the best travelled blazer is worn by Derrick Brown of the Fife FA. He first appeared on the scene at East Fife in the 1990s, before becoming a director of Cowdenbeath when the balance of power changed at Bayview. He later returned to become East Fife chairman, but a new rift saw him seek refuge once again at Cowdenbeath. A change of ownership at Central Park saw Brown move again, and this season's vice chairman of the appeals committee can now be found on the committee of Fife's fifth SFA member club – Burntisland Shipyard.