Board Meeting 158 - November 2009

Minutes of the hundred and fifty eighth meeting of the Football Licensing Authority held on 10 November 2009 in Harcourt House


Mr P Darling - Chairman
Dr J Dickie
Dr P Lane
Mr P Rowley
Ms J Summerell
Mr R Wilkie
Mr D Wilson
Mr J Woodrow
Mr J R K de Quidt - Chief Executive

In attendance

Mr K D Sears
Mrs N A Rutherford

Apologies were received from Mr B Batson



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes were agreed and signed by the Chairman.



Matters arising


Mr Sears updated the Board on the licensing issues at Hereford United, Cheltenham Town and Bristol Rovers.




Chief Executive’s reports (FLA(09)23)


The Board noted the  content of the paper


Mr Dickie sought clarification of the Hampton Review being undertaken.  It was explained that all regulatory bodies were being reviewed by the Better Regulation Executive under a rolling programme. This review should not be confused with the Hampton review of 2005.




The future of the FLA – Strategic issues (FLA(09)22)


The paper before the Board provided a framework for a general strategic debate.

In discussion the following points were made:

Olympic Games 2012

It was unanimously agreed that the FLA should make every effort to contribute to the preparations for the 2012 Olympics. The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) had sought our assistance although they favoured a secondment of one Inspector to work full-time on the project. This option was not acceptable as we would have no oversight and there would be little benefit to the FLA in the long term. The FLA preferred and would offer a single inspector for 3 days a week supported by three FLA staff.  This would enable us to ensure the quality of the assistance provided, to deploy the full range of our knowledge and maintain our profile.  The advantages must be strongly emphasised to LOGOC which hopefully would alleviate their concerns about adopting this option.  Members would be kept informed as matters developed.

The FLA would look to DCMS to provide the necessary legal powers and full indemnity cover. The Board considered that it was critical that the Chief Executive and Board should have oversight of the work being done.

It was hoped that our possible move into the 2012 Olympics would demonstrate the need to extend our role into other sports and prompt DCMS into expanding our remit sooner rather than later to avoid future drawn out negotiations for use of our services by other sports.

Emergency Planning College

The present level of involvement with the EPC was set to increase with the introduction of a third course designed for safety officers. The Board agreed that this level of involvement must be maintained and should remain one of our highest priorities. If and when the EPC was privatised, the FLA should be ready to argue strongly for retention of our present commitment with the new management company.  It was suggested as a fall-back we should identify other partners with whom we might work.

Safety certification

The Board agreed that the FLA should start the process to issue its own guidance on safety certification for football only. 

Football authorities

The FLA would continue to attempt to encourage the football authorities to take a more active role in spectator safety.

 Members agreed that, to fulfil their ambassadorial role to the full, they should have a complete understanding of all the issues.  They would be provided with a detailed briefing which would encompass the responsibilities of the Board.

A discussion on persistent standing would take place at a later date.

All these issues would be referred to in the risk register which would be presented the Board at the January meeting.


Analysis of spectators injury statistics for the 2008/09 season (FLA(09)21)


The Board approved the findings of the analysis and agreed that it should be published on the FLA website.  As a public body the FLA had a duty to release the document to a wider audience.  We would seek advice from the Evidence and Analysis Unit of DCMS as to whether the findings were suitable and robust enough for a press release or similar announcement.


Request for inspector’s attendance at FA inquiry


The Board considered the request for Mrs Elliston to attend as a witness at the FA inquiry into the match between West Ham and Millwall.  Taking into account the current FLA policy, the Board agreed that Mrs Elliston should not attend nor provide a statement.


The Board suggested that the Inspectorate should be advised that reports should be factual rather than opinion based.


Any other business


Mr Dickie reiterated the importance of the FLA securing a connection with the 2012 Olympics.


Dr Lane requested that a new proforma be adopted for recording conflicts of interest.


The Board would consider the recruitment of the Chief Executive at the January Board meeting.


The Board discussed the pay and allowance of FLA Board members. In the absence of the Secretariat the Board agreed that it would accept the 1.5% increase in remuneration.


The Board congratulated Ms Summerell on her appointment to the diversity ambassadors’ network.




Date of the next meeting


The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 12 January 2010 in Harcourt House following the meeting of the Audit Committee at 10.30am.

FLA Secretariat - November 2009