The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) has the legal duty to issue licences to all clubs in the Premier League, English Football League, Wembley and the Principality Stadium, which allows admittance of spectators to grounds.
Clubs in the Premier League or Championship, or any who have been in the top two tiers for more than three seasons since 1994/95, must have an all-seated stadium. This is a condition of the SGSA licence.
Despite the licence condition and the efforts of clubs, we know many fans still choose to stand. Standing in areas which are meant for sitting has a number of safety risks, including injury and crowd management and care issues.
The All Seater Policy Enforcement Approach for the 20/21 football season (PDF) gives clarity and transparency to our role in enforcing the licence conditions. It sets out the reasonable steps clubs can take to reduce the safety risks associated with persistent standing.
The guidance outlines:
- Requirements of clubs to meet the licence conditions.
- Reasonable steps we expect clubs to put in place to address persistent standing.
- Ways clubs can minimise the safety risks for fans who still choose to stand in seated areas, despite the efforts of clubs.
- Introduce new requirements for clubs.
- Create new powers for the SGSA.
- Change the all-seater policy.
The steps within the document aren’t new. It builds on the 2013 Joint Statement on Standing in seated areas (PDF) agreed by all of football’s governing voices.
SGSA Inspectors work closely with clubs around ways to reduce safety risks. This guidance brings together that advice into one document to help clarity, consistency and understanding.