National League Clubs Guidance

The information in this section aims to help National League 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 National League 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 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 upgrading 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 (Green Guide) or any of our Sports Grounds and Stadia Guides.


When a National League club is promoted to the Football League it may find itself having to upgrade its terracing in order to bring it up to the standard required to obtain a licence from the SGSA.

At the same time it may face having to increase the capacity of the ground, or install additional seating, in order to meet the Football League membership requirements.

This section provides further details of the deadlines imposed by the SGSA’s licence and the Football League’s membership criteria and is intended to help clubs plan for any work which may be required.