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Football: Safety

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL2086, tabled on 15 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Sports Ground Safety Authority about the form of rail seating; whether such seating is regarded as a temporary measure; and if so, when further changes by football clubs to adapt seating for the new season will be required.

Answered on

23 July 2021

In 2019, the Government made a commitment to work with fans and clubs to introduce safe standing at football stadia. The Government is working closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) on planning the next steps for implementing this manifesto commitment. In June 2021, the SGSA published its research into the Safe Management of Persistent Standing in Seated Areas at Football Stadia, which found that the installation of barriers or rails can have a positive impact on spectator safety, particularly in mitigating the risk of a progressive crowd collapse.

The technical requirements for seats with barriers or independent barriers are detailed in the current (6th) edition of SGSA’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide). Football clubs may, in consultation with the relevant local authority and other partners, install such types of spectator accommodation in any part or all of their grounds as part of their management strategies for persistent standing.

As the all-seater policy remains in place, these areas are licensed as seating areas only at present.