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.

On 10 July 1992, following a review of the Government’s all-seater policy, the then Secretary of State for National Heritage announced that clubs in the lower two divisions of the Football League would be permitted to retain some standing terracing provided that it met certain standards.
However, clubs in the Premier League and the then First Division were still required to meet the August 1994 deadline.

Clubs promoted to the Championship for the first time have three years to convert their ground to all-seated.

If a club is relegated before the three years has expired, and at the time it is relegated it has not yet converted its ground to all seated, when it is next promoted any time previously spent in the Championship or Premiership is counted towards the three years.

At the end of the three year period the Secretary of State will, following consultation with the SGSA, normally direct that a condition be inserted in the licence restricting the admission of spectators to seated accommodation only.

Once a club has been required to go all seated it must remain so. This is imposed by the licence issued by the SGSA. The specific licence conditions are prescribed in secondary legislation (an Order) made by the Secretary of State under the Football Spectators Act 1989.

There are currently 72 all-seated international, Premier League and Football League grounds in England and Wales.

Check the regulations

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

Guidance on Safety Certification which providing a reference on the principles and procedures governing the safety certification of sports grounds.


Government review of evidence relating to the all-seater policy

Government has recently announced that it will commission an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy. Its aim is that initial analysis work will be completed by the end of 2018.

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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.

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

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.