The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) Statement on the Hillsborough Inquest Verdicts

The Hillsborough Inquests were opened in 2014 following publication of an Independent Panel report which provided evidence about the events leading up to, and the disaster at Hillsborough in 1989.

Today, the jury has reached their decision on the 14 questions set out by the coroner, and have concluded that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed. They have found that there were errors and omissions by the police and determined that there were features of the design and construction of the stadium that contributed to the disaster. They also found errors and omissions in the safety certificate and oversight, and a lack of pre-match and contingency planning. The jury found that there was no behaviour by supporters that contributed to the disaster.   

Our thoughts today are with the families and survivors of the disaster, and as the Government’s expert body on spectator safety, the SGSA will be reviewing all findings in relation to spectator safety. 

The SGSA Chief Executive, Karen Eyre-White said “Sports grounds have been transformed since the tragic events at Hillsborough in 1989. The safety of spectators at sports grounds is our priority and we will review the findings from the inquests carefully. We will continue to work with all parties to avoid complacency and ensure the UK remains one of the safest places in the world to watch live sport.”

Alan Coppin, Chair of the SGSA said “The inquests are a reminder about the importance of spectator safety. People should be able to watch live sport without worrying about their safety. It is vital that all parties continue to work together and we encourage and remind clubs and sports about the importance of avoiding complacency and keeping spectator safety on the board agenda.


Background on spectator safety changes since 1989.