Licensed standing in seated areas

In December 2019, the UK Government made a manifesto commitment to “work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing”.

The Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, has announced that the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is now able to invite applications for early adopters of licensed standing in seated areas, to enable these areas to be introduced from 1 January 2022.

Applications to become early adopters of licensed standing in seated areas for the 2021/22 season are now closed.  The SGSA is now reviewing the applications and will provide advice and recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for final decision.

We can confirm that six applications have been received.  Applications have been received from both Premier League and Championship grounds.  We will not be releasing the names of applicant grounds while the decision process is ongoing. However, grounds are able to announce whether they have applied.

The announcement on the grounds is due to be made towards the beginning of November.

Application process

The SGSA wrote to all grounds subject to the all-seater licence conditions, along with their respective local authorities.  Grounds/clubs had until 6 October 2021 to return a completed application form, outlining how they met the early adopter criteria.

This criteria has 16 points, covering issues such as:

  • The necessary infrastructure – such as seats with barriers/independent barriers – which must be in both home and away sections.
  • Fans must be able to sit or stand in the licensed areas – the seats cannot be locked in the ‘up’ or ‘down’ position. There must also be one seat/space per person.
  • The licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards or other fans, including disabled fans.
  • There must be a Code of Conduct in place for fans in the licensed standing area.
  • The ground must consult with its Safety Advisory Group about plans for the licensed standing areas.

Applications will be considered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for final decision, based on advice and recommendations from the SGSA

Grounds will be informed of the decision by 5 November 2021, before a full public announcement is made.

Between October and December, DCMS will carry out the legal changes needed to allow for the introduction of licensed standing areas.

The SGSA will issue a new licence to the early adopter grounds in December, which will take effect on 1 January 2022.

Licensed standing areas – early adopter criteria

Supplementary Guidance 01- Safe standing in seated areas