Board Meeting 161 - May 2010

Minutes of the hundred and sixty first meeting of the Football Licensing Authority held on 11 May 2010 in Harcourt House


Mr P Darling – Chairman
Mr B Batson
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


Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes were agreed and signed by the Chairman.



Matters arising


No items were raised.


Chief Executive’s reports (FLA(10)11) (FLA(10)14)


The Board noted the content of the two reports.


The results of the consultation exercise on Safety Certification and subsequent developments must be communicated to all relevant parties.


Risk-based approach to monitoring local authorities       (FLA(10)16)


The Board discussed the risk-based approach to be adopted. The Board fully supported and approved the process and the direction proposed by the working group.  The Hampton Review Team had recommended the FLA should be more ready to consult stakeholders at an early stage of any new initiative.  The Board therefore agreed that once the operational issues had been agreed with the Inspectors, the local authority regional chairs should be invited to a meeting to explain the new direction. Clubs would also be consulted before any final action was taken.


Ms Summerell reported that her paper on the objectives and criteria for match visits by Board members would be submitted for discussion in July.


Draft Annual Review of Performance (FLA(10)13)


The Board suggested the letter accompanying the Annual Review of Performance might be thought not to emphasise sufficiently the FLAs considerable achievements during the year and should have a more upbeat tone.  The brokering of the deal with LOCOG and the achievements accomplished might usefully be included.  The Chief Executive reminded the Board that the FLA was bound by a confidentially clause and referring to this could be difficult. The Board noted his concerns but agreed that not to mention this achievement in some acceptable form would be a missed opportunity. A reference to the cost effectiveness of the FLA should also be included.


The Board approved the draft Annual Review of Performance.


It was suggested that the Chairman should write a forward for the Annual Report.


Level Standing (FLA(10)12)


The Board was invited to consider the licence applications from Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town. At its meeting in July 2009 the Board had agreed to issue a licence to both clubs with the proviso that that both clubs and relevant local authorities were advised that any future licence applications seeking to include the continued use of the level standing areas would need to be supported by a case explaining why it should be retained.

Since the Board considered last year’s licence applications the Secretariat had identified Board paper FLA(98)19 which offered two options for the criteria for licensing level standing. When the paper had been considered by the then Board the following option had been favoured:

  • The acceptance of some level standing areas under certain given conditions, including a suitable crush barrier, limited depth and pitch perimeter exits.

Unfortunately the application made by Bristol Rovers in 1999 stated that all areas of the ground were compliant and therefore the Board did not at that time consider the issue of level standing.  Had the Board done so it would undoubtedly had applied the criteria it had previously favoured.

Taking this into account the Board agreed that the same criteria should be applied to the applications before them.  Subject to clarification being obtained that the standing areas in question met the criteria, the Board were minded to issue a licence which would permit the admission of spectators to all parts of the ground to both Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town. However the Board’s provisional view was that should either ground be redeveloped that the level standing areas should be addressed and removed.


Steward training, verification and accreditation (FLA(10)15)


The Board re-affirmed its approval of the policy on steward training that:

  • all stewards trained at Premier, Football League and international football grounds should be required to be qualified following an independent accreditation by an awarding body;


  • any local authority that has not included this in its safety certificate should be pressed to do so at the earliest opportunity; and
  • a club wishing to adopt an alternative system should be required to demonstrate that its proposed system meets an equivalent standard, contains a suitable independent element of assessment recognised by OFQUAL and the Department for Education and is sustainable over time.



Any other business


The Chairman reported he was still seeking clarification from DCMS on the progress of the recruitment of the new Chief Executive.


The preparation for the relocation to Oceanic House was on-going.


Corporate governance would be discussed at the July Board meeting.


Date of the next meeting


The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 6 July 2010 in Harcourt House at 10.30am.  However, Members were asked to keep June 8 in their diaries for the time being in case a meeting was required in June.




The Chairman thanked Mr Woodrow for his significant contribution to the work of the FLA over his term of office and offered him his best wishes for the future.

Mr Woodrow expressed his gratitude to all for the support, fun and achievements he had experienced during his time with the FLA. 

FLA Secretariat - May 2010