Press release

Sports Grounds Safety Authority is launched

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Body builds on success of Football Licensing Authority with increased powers to benefit more sports

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson officially announced the commencement of the new Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) today that will help to ensure the safety of spectators at sports grounds across the country.

Born out of the Football Licensing Authority, that has worked to improve spectator safety at football grounds since 1990 the SGSA can now work with other sports, in addition to football, to help maintain the highest standards of spectator safety. The SGSA will also be able to share best practice and expertise beyond England and Wales.

Hugh Robertson said:

“The Football Licensing Authority played a critical role in spectator safety at football grounds over the past two decades. The Sports Grounds Safety Authority will build on that success by taking its expertise and advice into other sports and ensure that spectator safety is properly implemented at all sports grounds.”

Ruth Shaw, chief executive of the SGSA said:

“It’s an extremely exciting time as we become the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. Hundreds of thousands of people attend sporting events in stadia around the world every week, and we have a unique role to play in helping to create the conditions for safe, secure and enjoyable experiences for all spectators. We’ll build on the significant achievements of the Football Licensing Authority, continue to provide world class advice and guidance, and embrace the opportunities and challenges that the new role will bring.”

Paul Darling QC, Chair of the SGSA said:

“These are exciting times for the organisation. We are determined to maintain our contribution to football spectator safety but are equally determined to make that expertise available to other sports and internationally. As an organisation we have achieved a great deal already, but there is still more we can contribute to ensure safety at sports grounds and the SGSA will provide us with the opportunity to do this.”

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority was established through the Sports Grounds Safety Authority Act 2011.

Notes to editors

  1. The FLA was set up as an independent public body, under the Football Spectators’ Act 1989 and is funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). It was charged with implementing some of the Taylor Report’s key recommendations by monitoring local authorities’ oversight of spectator safety at international, premiership and football league grounds in England and Wales, and implementing a system of licensing to deliver the Government’s policy on seated accommodation. The SGSA will continue to carry out the statutory functions under the Football Spectators Act 1989 in England and Wales.

  2. The Sports Grounds Safety Authority Act 2011 provided the vehicle for the FLA to become the SGSA. The Act also expanded the remit of the SGSA to enable it to work with other sports as well as football and in countries outside of England and Wales. The Act had cross party support and received Royal Assent in July 2011. The SGSA will commence 1 November 2011.

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