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All-seater policy

The all-seater policy states grounds in the top two divisions provide seated accommodation at grounds.

The Government’s all-seater policy does not allow standing accommodation at Wembley Stadium, the Principality Stadium, and the grounds used by clubs which have been in the Premier League or Championship for more than three years since the start of the 1994/95 season.

The primary purpose of the policy is to help ensure spectators are kept safe.

The policy is administered and enforced through two conditions in the licences issued by the SGSA. These are:

  1. Only seated accommodation is to be provided for spectators at a designated football match; and
  2. Spectators shall only be admitted to watch a designated football match from seated accommodation.

Following the Government announcement of 4 July 2022 , those grounds currently subject to the all-seater licence conditions, and which receive a change in licence from the SGSA, are permitted by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to operate licensed standing areas.


The All-Seater Policy – Enforcement Approach 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.

It outlines:

  • Requirements of clubs to meet the licence conditions.
  • Initial steps and further actions 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.

Newly promoted grounds

The requirement for football grounds in the top two divisions of English football to have all-seater stadia has been in place since 1994.

It is recognised that it would be unreasonable to expect a club that is promoted to the Championship for the first time to immediately replace any existing terracing with seating. As a result, they have three years to convert their ground to all-seater.

Once a club has been in the Championship or the Premier League for three seasons in total (not concurrently), they must be all-seater.

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.


Lord Justice Taylor’s Report of the Inquiry into the Hillsborough Disaster recommended that all grounds in the old First and Second Divisions of the Football League (now Premier League and EFL 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.

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