My club has been promoted; what do I need to know?

The primary purpose of this part of the web site is to provide information to help Football Conference clubs understand the requirements that will be placed upon them following promotion to the Football League and to provide links to sources of detailed information which will help them in planning how to meet those requirements.

When a Football Conference club is promoted to the Football League it may for the first time require a

  • safety certificate which covers the whole ground.
  • It will also require a licence from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA).
  • If the ground contains any standing accommodation the SGSA will require the terracing to be brought up to a prescribed standard.
  • Similarly if the ground contains insufficient seating the Football League will require the club to install additional seating. Both the SGSA and the Football League impose deadlines for such up-grading to be completed.

In determining the safe capacity of the ground account should be taken of both its physical condition (P) factor and the clubs safety management (S) factor. Ground management should ensure that these factors are assessed by a competent person with a knowledge and understanding of the ground. Where a ground, or parts of a ground, are covered by a safety certificate these assessments should be included with the capacity calculations when they are forwarded to the local authority for review and validation prior to the setting of the certified capacity for the ground.

Although the SGSA’s regulatory role does not extend to clubs in the Football Conference we are happy to provide general advice and guidance to clubs on the interpretation and application of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.

The Football League require that the ground occupied by a club promoted to League 2 must have a certified capacity of at least 4,000 (with the ability to be increased to 5,000) which shall include at least 500 seats (with the ability to be increased to 1,000).

By 1st May in its first season as a Member of the Football League the club is required to have a certified capacity of 5,000 which shall include at least 1000 seats(with the ability to be increased to 2,000).

By 1st May in its third season as a Member of the Football League the club is required to have a certified capacity of 5,000 which shall include at least 2,000 seats.

As clubs develop their ground to meet the above criteria it is important to remember that by the end of their third season in the Football League the SGSA will require them to have brought any terracing up to the prescribed standard or take that terracing out of use which would therefore reduce the capacity of the ground.

Further details here on Football League membership

 

Check the regulations

About Designated Grounds

Under the provisions of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 the local authority is responsible for issuing and enforcing a safety certificate in respect of a sports ground designated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Licences issued by SGSA

The annual licence issued by the SGSA to each club specifies the areas of the ground to which spectators may be admitted. Read about the process and download the forms here.

Monitoring Local Authorities

The SGSA has published guidance on Safety Certification which provides a single source of reference on the principles and procedures governing the safety certification of sports grounds. The SGSA uses this document as a yardstick when keeping under review local authorities which come within its regulatory oversight.

All Seated Football Stadiums

Lord Justice Taylor’s Report of the Inquiry into the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster recommended that all grounds in the old First and Second Divisions of the Football League (now FA Premier League and Football League Championship) should be all-seated by August 1994. Lord Justice Taylor also recommended that clubs in the former Third and Fourth Divisions (the current Leagues 1 and 2) of the Football League should be all-seated by August 1999.

What is a Regulated Stand?

A regulated stand is any covered stand with accommodation for 500 or more spectators, whether seated or standing. A local authority is required to determine whether any, and if so which, of the stands at sports grounds within its area are regulated stands.

Guidance

Support for Local Authorities – Policies and Procedures

To assist local authorities develop appropriate policies and procedures, or to review existing ones, the SGSA has produced guidance which explains what should be included in an authority’s policies and procedures for the issue and review of a safety certificate, for the monitoring of compliance with the terms and conditions of a safety certificate and for the enforcement of the 1975 and 1987 Acts.