Licence to Admit Spectators (Conference Clubs)

The primary purpose of the licensing scheme administered by the SGSA under the provisions of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (1989 Act) is to enforce the Government’s policy that all clubs in the FA Premier League and Football League Championship plus Wembley and the Millennium Stadium must have all-seated stadia and that any standing accommodation in Football Leagues 1 and 2 is of the prescribed standard.

The annual licence issued to each club specifies the areas of the ground to which spectators may be admitted. Under the provisions of the 1989 Act it is an offence to admit spectators to any of the above grounds, or parts of those grounds, which are not licensed. Conditions in the licence do not apply to other (non-football) events taking place at those grounds.

When a Conference Club is promoted to the Football League the SGSA will write to the club secretary inviting them to make an application for a licence. The fee for the annual licence is £100. As part of the licence application the club secretary will be asked to complete a questionnaire about the design and layout of crush barriers and gangways on any terraced areas within the ground. The purpose of the questionnaire is to assist the SGSA to assess whether the standing accommodation is of the prescribed standard.

Where the terracing is not of the prescribed standard the club will be required to either make the necessary alterations to the terrace or to take the terrace out of use. A newly promoted club will be allowed up to a maximum of three years in which to bring the terracing up to the prescribed standard.  However, where a club has previously played in the Football League since the start of the 1999/2000 season the 3 year deadline will be reduced by the time previously spent in the Football League. Therefore a club which had previously spent two years in the Football League would have 1 year to undertake the necessary work on the terracing.