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Football: Safety

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL2085, tabled on 15 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Sports Ground Safety Authority regarding the form of rail seating required at some football clubs for the new season; and if these (1) will be a permanent solution, and (2) will be defined as safe standing areas.

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.