2019/20 Injuries at football grounds report released

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) has today released the SGSA spectator injury statistics from football clubs in England and Wales for the 2019/20 season.

The statistics cover the first six months of the season, until 31 January 2020.  It doesn’t include information from 1 February as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first six months of the 2019/20 season, there were:

  • 21,479,064 spectators at matches in the Premier League (plus football matches played at Wembley and Principality Stadium), Championship and Leagues One and Two.
  • 1,215 spectators treated for injuries.
  • This equates to 1 injury per 17,678 spectators.
  • Slips/Trips/Falls were the cause of 34% of all recorded injuries – the highest ‘known’ category.
  • 24% of the recorded injuries were recorded as cut/laceration – the most common type of recorded injury across all leagues.

The data is based on returns from the 92 football grounds subject to SGSA licensing.  The SGSA has worked with the National Centre for Social Research to interrogate each club’s return to improve consistency in the categorisation of the causes of injuries.

Martyn Henderson, Chief Executive of the SGSA said: “The SGSA’s focus is ensuring spectators can enjoy watching football in safety. Reported injuries are low, and even where there are injuries, they are rarely sufficiently serious to require a spectator to be taken to hospital. But we know there is no room for complacency.

“The self-reporting nature of the data, and the manual data collection and collation process means there remains potential for further improvements to the robustness of the data.”

The SGSA Football Spectator Injury Statistics 2019-20 report provides the full results.  This includes a summary of the reported spectator injuries for the past three seasons is shown in Table 1.  This is broken down by each division, as well as a cumulative number for all (Wembley and Principality Stadium are included in Premier League figures).

The report provides more in-depth analysis of the injury data than has previously been available, including the cause, type of injury and the time period in which it took place.  These results are provided in the tables below.

An injury is classed as a wound or trauma, hurt or harm, usually applied to damage inflicted on a body by an external force.  Illnesses are by their nature excluded. Pre-existing injuries are also discounted from the returns as the summary primarily focuses on injuries occurring within the curtilage of the ground on match day. Additionally, any injuries which can be attributed to the intoxication of the patient are excluded.