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Annual inspection v structural appraisal – what is the difference?

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Celebrating 10 years of the SGSA

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Andy Robinson

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SGSA Conference 2022

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SGSA Conference programme overview released

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UEFA Stadium & Security Webinar 2022

SGSA Conference 2022 – tickets now available

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Martyn Henderson awarded OBE in New Year’s Honours List

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SGSA Conference 2022

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the SGSA

SG03: Event Safety Management webinar

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Derek Wilson appointed Chair of SGSA

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Sports unite to show nation they are fan ready

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Ken Scott receives MBE

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2019/20 Injuries at football grounds report released

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Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Drones – SGSA Knowledge Series

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35 years since Bradford tragedy

Taylor Made – 30 years since the formation of the Football Licensing Authority

Women in Sports Grounds Safety

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SGSA Conference 2022 Programme Launched

Evaluation of ‘early adopters’ of licensed standing areas in football stadia: Interim findings summary

In January 2022, CFE Research commenced an evaluation of ‘early adopters’ of licensed standing areas in five football grounds, commissioned by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. The findings of the research will be provided to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to inform its decisions about the potential wider roll-out of licensed standing.

The following provides an overview of some of the key findings from the research so far.  Please note, the research is ongoing and as such these are emerging findings only.

  1. Installing barriers or rails in areas of persistent standing in seated accommodation continues to have a positive impact on spectator safety. This is in line with the findings of the 2019-20 study conducted by CFE Research, The Safe Management of Persistent Standing in Seated Areas.


  1. A number of positive impacts of installing barriers or rails have been identified, consistent with the previous research conducted:
  • Goal celebrations are more orderly
  • Egress is more uniform
  • Pockets of overcrowding can be easier to spot
  • Barriers offer stability for people moving up and down aisles and gangways
  • Customer service is enhanced by responding to spectators’ preferences for seating or standing.


  1. Operating licensed standing areas has the additional benefit of removing the requirement for safety staff to encourage spectators to sit down, reducing the risk of conflict between staff and spectators.


  1. There is no evidence to date that the introduction of licensed standing areas has led to an increase in standing elsewhere in the stadia, but neither has it eradicated it. It will be important to monitor this as any increase (or decrease) in standing in seated areas is likely to emerge over time.


  1. The research has identified a number of learning opportunities for clubs. CFE will continue to explore how early adopter clubs are dealing with these issues over the remainder of the research, including:
  • Assessing the level of demand for standing accommodation to ensure sufficient supply and mitigate the risk of persistent standing elsewhere;
  • Responding to this with ticketing strategies for both home and away supporters; and
  • Meeting the demand for standing tickets from families with children.


  1. Blocking of aisles and gangways, climbing on infrastructure, and the problematic behaviour of supporters remain risks associated with standing, but none of these are reported to have increased as a result of the introduction of licensed standing areas.

Interim findings summary (PDF)

SGSA Conference 2022

SGSA training days

Guidance on crowd related medical incidents

Following the recent occurrences of stoppages of play due to crowd related medical incidents, the SGSA has been involved in discussions with other footballing bodies about appropriate advice and guidance to support safety teams.

As a result, we have created new guidance which includes a range of indicative questions that could be considered in preparing for crowd medical incidents, and ensuring that all of the stakeholders involved are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

Guidance on crowd related medical incidents (PDF)

PhD partnership announced

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Edinburgh, which sees the creation of a PhD studentship focused on understanding the drivers of safety at major sporting events.

Applications for the studentship, which is part-funded by the SGSA, are currently open via the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

The project will establish how event organisers can make football events safer. It has two core research questions:

  1. how group processes between attendees impacts perceived safety at football events, and
  2. how demographic differences impact perceived safety and group relations.

The studentship will be based in the Department of Psychology within the  School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.  It will be supervised by Dr Anne Templeton and SGSA’s Head of Partnerships and Strategy, Darren Whitehouse.

Martyn Henderson OBE, Chief Executive of the SGSA, said: “This is an exciting new collaboration for the SGSA.  Our aim is to enhance research into safety at sports grounds.  This PhD studentship reinforces our commitment to investing in high-quality research, which will further our own evidence base on which to shape future policies.”

The closing date for applications is 14 April, and applicants must meet specific criteria as outlined on the studentship opportunity webpage.

SGSA Conference programme overview released

We have released the overview of the SGSA Conference 2022, which outlines the programme and issues being considered through the day.

View the overview of the programme (PDF)

The conference will include three main plenary sessions, with the themes of:

  • What’s changed in the last two years
  • Planning for major events
  • What does the future hold for the sector?

Along with the plenary sessions, there will be two sets of breakout sessions, with topics including:

  • What’s needed for licensed standing
  • Anti-social behaviour and pyrotechnics
  • Accessible stadia
  • Fan engagement and safety governance

We’ll be releasing the names of speakers over the next couple of weeks, with the full programme available from mid April.

The early bird discount is still available and ends on 31 March.  Tickets can be booked online:

Book your tickets here.

Full information on the conference can be found on the conference page:

If you have any questions about the conference, contact Andrea Jones ( or Monica Gameiro (

Understanding the steward exemption

Under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001, some security roles undertaken in sports grounds in England and Wales are exempt from Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensing.

The exemption only applies in certain circumstances, and it may not always be clear whether an SIA licence is needed.

To help clarify, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and SIA have put together a document explaining when a SIA licence is needed at a sports ground.

Understanding the steward exemption (PDF)

UEFA Stadium & Security Webinar 2022

The SGSA is proud to have taken part in the UEFA Stadium & Security Webinar 2022.

The focus of the SGSA is the safety and enjoyment of all fans at sports grounds. There has never been a greater need for effective event safety management.

Ken Scott MBE highlights the importance of applying the comprehensive advice provided in our latest guidance document, SG03: Event Safety Management.

Watch UEFA Stadium & Security Webinar 2022 

SGSA Conference 2022 – tickets now available

Tickets are now available for the SGSA Conference 2022

Join us on Tuesday 24 May at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Book your tickets here


On 24 May 2022, the SGSA will be holding their sixth Annual Conference at the Etihad Stadium, one of the first grounds to be pioneering licensed ‘safe standing’ in seated areas from 1 January 2022. This comes as great news after the unfortunate cancelation of the Annual Conference over the past two consecutive years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, much has changed.

In celebration of moving forward with the historic change to allow standing in top flight football grounds in England and Wales for the first time in nearly 30 years, we are extremely pleased to be hosting our annual conference at the Etihad Stadium.

The last 19 months have been busy for sports grounds safety professionals. We’ve seen our events come to a halt and experienced sport without spectators, tackled the challenges of managing the safe return of fans, welcomed the policy change of licensed standing areas; and saw the new guidance on Event Safety Management being published.

The focus of the SGSA is the safety and enjoyment of all fans at sports grounds. In order to never become complacent when it comes to safety, we aim to bring together the events and sports sector at the SGSA Conference to discuss the latest developments in sports grounds and event safety.


The conference will start at 10am and finish at 5pm (registration from 9am).  There will also be tours of the Etihad Stadium available either before or after the conference.

Over the coming months we’ll be announcing details of our speakers and sessions.

The day will include a mixture of full plenary and breakout sessions, providing both strategic overviews of some of the biggest issues in sports grounds safety, as well as more in-depth discussions on specific subjects.

A focus of the conference will be the introduction of licensed standing in seated areas – with the event taking place at one of the early adopter grounds, you’ll be able to hear first hand the experiences from the first few months of its implementation.

The programme will also include:

  • What’s happening in the sports grounds safety sector and the long term impact of the pandemic
  • The Protect Duty
  • Safety management
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Fan engagement

There will be plenty of opportunities for you to network with colleagues and visit our exhibition area.

Once registered, you’ll be kept updated with the latest programme announcements and information about the day.

Find out all of the information and keep up to date on our conference webpage: