Any clubs that seeks promotion to to a league or division in the higher levels of the pyramid (level 11 or above) must have a ground that fulfills certain criteria. The Premiership and Football League set their own criteria, but for the Conference and below, these criteria are set by the FA. There are ninegrades:
Grade A: for clubs at level 5 (Conference National division)
Grade B: for clubs at level 6 (Conference North/South divisions)
Grade C: for clubs at level 7 (Northern Premier/Southern/Isthmian Premier divisions)
Grade D: for clubs at level 8 (Northern Premier/Southern/Isthmian first divisions)
Grade E: for promotion into level 8 (grade D required within 12 months)
Grade F: for clubs at level 9
Grade G: for clubs at level 10
Grade H: for clubs seeking to enter level 10
Step 7: for clubs at level 11 (Coming soon)
Level 8 aside, the general principle is that clubs have to achieve the appropriate grade by March 31st of their first season after promotion.
The individual grading schemes can be viewed on the FA's website. However, there is a lot of overlap between gradings (for example, the rules relating to the clubhouse are the same for all grades). This page does combines all the grading information into one place, allowing easy comparison of grades.
A: The ground must give an overall appearance and impression of being a football ground suitable for the highest Division of The National League System. The ground must have the potential of being upgraded to meet the criteria for membership of The Football League.
It must be possible for spectators to view the match, either standing or seated, for the full length of at least three sides of the playing area, provided that the capacity requirements detailed under 1.3 are met. Where one side is designated as spectator free, measures must be in place to ensure there is no unauthorised access.
If there are any extraneous objects, or buildings within the boundary of the ground or the ground has an irregular configuration of seating, standing and covered areas that do not conform to the recognised standard design of a football stadium, the club may not be awarded a category “A” Grading.
B - H: The ground must give an overall appearance and impression of being a football ground suitable for the
National League System.
It must be possible for spectators to view the match, either standing or seated, for the full length of at
least [B-F: 3 ] [G/H: 2] sides of the playing area. Where one side is designated as spectator-free, measures must be
in place to ensure there is no unauthorised access.
A - H: The location of the ground, in so far as its relation to the conurbation whose name the club bears, or is traditionally associated with, must meet with the approval of The Football Association and the Board of Directors of The Football Conference.
A - G: The club must disclose plans and details of any proposed future move to a new stadium or of any significant alteration to the existing ground to both the league of which it is in membership and The Football Association
1.1 Security of Tenure
A - E: The club must either:
(1.1.1) own the freehold of the ground, or
(1.1.2) as at 31 March in any year, have a lease for the ground that extends for a minimum of the next full playing season, or
(1.1.3) possess an agreement for the use of the ground that is acceptable to The Football Association and The Football Conference or the league of which it is a member.
F-H: Where a club does not own the freehold of their ground, evidence of adequate security of tenure must
A: In addition, the club must disclose:
(a) Whether any Director or material shareholder of the club or any connected person or company has a financial interest in the ground.
(b) Whether the club’s occupation of the ground is subject to any third party option.
(c) If any applicable planning consent are subject to restrictions, and
(d) Whether the ground is charged by way of security.
(e) Any break clauses in the lease exercisable either by landlord or tenant.
A: The club must provide copies of any documents so disclosed and The Football Association and The Football Conference reserve the right to call for further information.
1.2 Ground Share
A-H: Ground sharing is permitted in accordance with the provisions of individual league rules and the Regulations for the Establishment and Operation of the National League System.
A-E The stadium must have a minimum capacity of X spectators, including the seated spectators, as certified by the local authority or calculated by a competent person, in accordance with the “Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds”, (Green Guide) current edition at the time of inspection
There must also be potential to increase the capacity to Y in the future
... and a Club must, by the 31st March following the date of inspection, demonstrate how this [increase in] capacity can be achieved.
Values of X and Y:
A: X = 4,000, Y = 5,000
B: X = 3,000, Y = 4,000
C: X = 1,950, Y = 3,000
D: X = 1,300, Y = 1,950
E: X = 1,000
A The Football Association and the Football Conference reserve the right to appoint a suitably qualified person to review and, if found necessary, amend the capacity figure.
The club must have the ability to segregate home and visiting supporters. Any segregated area must have exclusive entrances, exits, ladies and gentlemens toilet facilities and catering facilities. The latter may be of the mobile type.
NOTE: All Football Conference fixtures come under the Football Spectators Act 1989 (Football
banning order legislation), and the Football (Offences) Act 1991.
F-H There is no minimum safe capacity at this level but a club should be mindful that the minimum
requirement for Grade E is 1000.
1.4 Boundary of Ground
A The ground must be enclosed with an external boundary wall of sound construction, secure on all sides of the ground and sufficient to deter would be climbers.
B-E The ground must be enclosed by a permanent boundary, which will prevent individuals from viewing the game from outside the ground.
A-E The boundary should be of sound construction of pre-cast concrete, brick, breeze block or metal cladding with steel or concrete posts and be of a minimum height of 1.83 metres as measured from outside the ground.
Whilst lapped timber, latch panel wood fences and wire mesh fences with wooden posts might be acceptable, hedges, shrubs and/or trees will not be accepted.
Where one side of the ground is formed of private land/property, the fixed boundary of that private land / property may be acceptable as the boundary of the ground.
F The ground must be enclosed by a permanent boundary. As a general rule, the minimum height, when measured from outside the ground, should be 1.83 metres. It should be noted that at higher grades the boundary fence should be of a construction to prevent viewing from outside the ground.
G-H The ground must be enclosed by a boundary, not necessarily of a permanent nature. As a general rule, the minimum height, when measured from outside the ground, should be 1.83 metres. It should be noted that at higher grades (E and above) the boundary fence should be of a construction to prevent viewing from outside the ground.
F-G Where any side of the ground is bounded by private land/property, the fixed boundary of that private land / property may be acceptable as the boundary of the ground
There must be a clubhouse facility either on or adjacent to the ground and which should be open on match days to provide refreshments to spectators.
H There must be a clubhouse facility either on the ground or in the near vicinity and which must be open on match days to provide refreshments to spectators. NB for Grade G and above, the clubhouse, if not on the ground, must be immediately adjacent to it.
1.6 Car Parking
A Parking facilities must be provided for directors, with a minimum number of 4 places for visiting directors. There must be safe parking arrangements for the visiting team's coach. Unmarked parking facilities must also be provided for the match officials. Car parking within the boundary of the ground on match days may not be acceptable.
There should be adequate car parking facilities at or adjacent to the ground. Car parking within the ground may not be acceptable./li>
1.7 Pitch Perimeter Barrier
A-H Subject to the provisions detailed below, there must be a permanent fixed barrier ideally 1.1 m high as measured from the spectator side, of sound construction (eg concrete and steel) and free from all sharp edges, surrounding the pitch on all sides that may be occupied by spectators. Existing barriers/rails not at 1.1m high may be acceptable, provided they meet the requirements set out in 1.7 of the Appendix.
The barrier, if other than solid wall type of construction, must be infilled so that the ball cannot pass through or under it.
H Advertising boards are acceptable as a means of infill.
A There should ideally be 2.75 metres, but no less than 2.25 metres between the touchline, goal line and the pitch perimeter barrier.
B-H There must be a minimum of 1.83 metres between the touchline, goal line and the pitch perimeter barrier. (N.B.: For Grade A, a minimum of 2.25 metres is required)
AHG Immediately in front of an area of seated accommodation the boundary of the playing area may be indicated by means other than a permanent fixed barrier, provided that the Club is able to provide assurances that no spectator will be allowed to stand in this area to watch the match.
Where there is a walkway in front of a standing terrace which is itself fronted by a crush barrier that has been subject to an annual risk assessment and, if necessary, tested, an alternative to a fixed barrier (e.g. A-frames) may be used, provided no spectators are allowed to stand in this area to watch the match. The Club must implement a safety management system to ensure this and also to protect the integrity of the playing area.
NB where A-frames are utilised instead of a fixed barrier, they must be continuous
A-H From the Appendix: It is important to distinguish between a pitch perimeter barrier/rail which exists to separate spectators from the playing area and a crush barrier which has been constructed and tested in accordance with the requirements of the Green Guide. Where the structure cannot be designated as a crush barrier, e.g. its height exceeds 1.1m, the maximum depth of standing behind it is limited to 1.5metres and this must be borne in mind in any capacity calculations.
It is recognised that the above may not be an issue for normal attendances but, when a larger crowd is anticipated, the Club should be mindful of the associated management issues and, if necessary, take professional advice. Whatever system is employed, a club should be mindful of its responsibility tensure spectator safety and minimise the possibility of unauthorised incursions on the playing area.
Whatever system is employed, a club should be mindful of its responsibility to ensure spectator safety and minimise the possibility of unauthorised incursions on to the playing area.
1.8 Pitch Standards
A-H The playing surface must be grass, unless otherwise authorised by the Competition's Board of Directors or Management Committee, must be of the highest possible standard. It must be level and free from surface depressions and excessive undulations.
The maximum slope allowable shall not exceed an even gradient of vertical to horizontal 1: 41 in any direction. NB When a new pitch is being developed or significant improvements made to a pitch, the gradient of 1:41 would not be acceptable and the pitch must be constructed in accordance with and with reference to the FIFA Performance Quality Standard.
The playing surface must be maintained to the highest possible standards.
Where an artificial surface is installed, the FIFA Performance Test must be completed by no later than 28th February each year and the result and details submitted to the league by 31st March. Any remedial work must be carried out once the season ends and the pass Performance Test Certificate submitted to the League by 31st May.
1.9 Playing Area
A-H The playing area to be a minimum of 100 metres x 64 metres and should conform to the requirements of the Laws of the Game.
Goalposts and goal net supports should be of professional manufacture and conform to the current safety requirements and to the requirements of the Laws of the Game.
A The Club must be responsible for the up keep of the playing area. The details of any other person/company/organisation responsible for the up keep of the playing area, on behalf of the club, must be disclosed to The Football Association and The Football Conference Board.
A-H From the Appendix: Reference should be made to the Goalpost Safety information published by The Football Association and, in particular, it should be noted that the use of metal cup hooks will be prohibited from season 2007/08 when they may constitute a reason for a match to be postponed.
1.10 Technical Area
A-H Two covered trainers’ boxes clearly marked “Home” and “Away or Visitors” must be provided [A: unless adequate provision is made in a seated stand]. They must be on the same side of the pitch ideally either side of the halfway line, ideally both equidistant from it and ideally a minimum of 3 metres apart and provide an unobstructed view of the playing area
Each box must be able to accommodate [A-B: 11] [C-G: 8] persons under cover on fixed seats or benches. Where bench seating is provided, a minimum 0.5m must be allowed for each person (i.e. 11 persons require a minimum of 5.5 metres; 8 persons require a minimum of 4 metres.).
Portable trainers’ boxes are permitted and must be securely fixed when in use.
A technical area must be marked out, in accordance with the guidance contained in the 'Laws of the Game' booklet.
1.11 Safe Walkway
A-H Clubs must provide for safe, unimpeded passage for players and match officials between the dressing rooms and the pitch. The use of protection designed products such as permanent structures or retractable tunnels to separate players and spectators is recommended.
A-FThe use of protection designed products such as permanent structures or retractable tunnels to separate players and spectators is recommended.
A-H From the Appendix: The design of the safe walkway will inevitably differ from ground to ground and it will rarely guarantee the safe passage of players and match officials unless supplemented by stewards. A club should implement procedures appropriate to the particular structure and be ready to respond to on the field situations which [sic] might affect spectator behaviour.
A Floodlights must be provided to an average lux reading of 250. No single reading can be less than 100 lux nor less than one quarter of the highest reading so as to ensure an even spread of light.
B Floodlights must be provided to an average lux reading of 180 lux. No single reading can be less than 100 lux nor less than one quarter of the highest reading so as to ensure an even spread of light.
C-H Floodlights must be provided to an average lux reading of 120. No single reading can be less than one quarter of the highest reading so as to ensure an even spread of light.
F-H When installing a new system, clubs are advised to check any planning restrictions for its use.
A-G Readings shall be on a grid of 88 markings (8 across, 11 down) evenly spaced with the outside readings falling on the pitch boundary line. The average of all the readings is taken to be the average illumination level in lux of the floodlighting installation.
The lux values must be tested every two years in accordance with current guidelines by an approved independent contractor. Floodlights must be retested after any significant alterations. Existing certification will be accepted provided that the test was carried out within the last two years unless work has been carried out at the ground which may have affected previous readings.
When applying for a higher grading, the certificate should have been issued no more than six months prior to the application.
An "approved" contractor is one which is in possession of the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) Approved Contractors' award, or ISO 9000/BS 5750, or is a member of the Electrical Contractors' Association.
The contractor must, when detailing the lux values, gives confirmation in writing of the date when the illumination test equipment used was last calibrated.
B-H When new or improved installations are being planned, an average lux reading of 180 should be provided.
1.13 Public Address System
A public address system must be provided which is clearly audible in all areas of the ground which can be occupied by spectators.
A public address system is not compulsory for this grade but clubs must be mindful that it may be necessary to convey information to spectators in the event of an emergency.
A-E There should be at least X spectator entrances to control the ingress of spectators.
These must be controlled by fully operational turnstiles of the revolving type and must be suitably housed and lit. These entrances should be placed in appropriate positions around the boundary of the ground and take into account the requirements of segregation.
Values of X:
These entrances should be placed in appropriate positions around the boundary of the ground and take into account the requirements of segregation.
There should be at least 1 fully operational turnstile (which must be of the revolving type) or a pay box where a charge for entry to the ground can be taken.
A-H It must be possible to gain access to the spectator viewing areas from the turnstiles via a bound surface minimum width of 0.9 metre.
All exits must be clearly signed, ideally with “running man” signs, and are to be kept clear and free from obstructions. ( For further information, reference should be made to the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.)
There must be access via a bound surface to all exits from the nearest spectator viewing areas.
A There must be an emergency lighting system for all spectator areas and concourses as required by the local Safety Authority or approved by a competent person.
B-G From the Appendix: Whilst their installation is strongly recommended, neither working nor emergency lighting is any longer a grading requirement. Clubs are reminded that they have a responsibility to ensure the safety of spectators entering, leaving and moving about the ground and, if a ground is used in non-daylight hours, adequate artificial lighting should be provided. Further, consideration must be given by a club to its procedures in the event of a power failure.
1.17 Adjoining Pitches
A-H Where deemed that they are likely to interfere with the playing of a match, ball games will not be played on adjoining pitches whilst league or cup matches are in progress.
1.18 Emergency Access
A-G Access must be provided for emergency services and maintained free from obstruction.
2. SPECTATOR FACILITIES
2.1 Spectator Accommodation
A-D Development, in addition to hard standing, must be on more than one side of the ground.
E Development, in addition to hard standing, should ideally be on more than one side of the ground.
F-G Development, other than hard standing, may all be on one side of the ground
A-H Covered accommodation [A-G: which should preferably be on at least 2 sides of the ground,] must be of sound construction of timber/steel/brick/concrete or any combination of these materials. Existing timber stands are only acceptable subject to fire assessment.
A-H The minimum covered accommodation must be X, [A-G: of which at least Y shall be seats located in one stand,] [A: with no stand having less than 100 seats.] [A-G: These seats may be inclusive of Directors/Committee and press seating.]
Values of X and Y:
A-B: X = 500, Y = 250
C: X = 500, Y = 250
D: X = 300, Y = 150
E: X = 250, Y = 150
F: X = 100, Y = 100
F: X = 100, Y = 50
H: X = 50
A-B A minimum of FOUR rows is required to the dimensions recommended in the Green Guide. In order to meet the sight line requirements it is recommended that the first line of seating is located above pitch level. There must be an unobstructed view from the lowest level of the seated area.
B Note: Clubs may retain membership of Football Conference NORTH/SOUTH provided that they achieve a Category “B” grading and have 250 seats under cover in one stand.
A-G All [seating] should ideally be of the tip-up type with back rests. Alternatively, other than in the Directors’ Box, the seats may be of the plastic moulded type complete with back rests or other types of seats, provided they have back rests.
Existing bench seating may be permitted provided that it is in good repair and that individual spaces (min 500mm) are clearly marked. However, these bench seats are not included in the Y indicated above.
All seating should afford a good view of the pitch and be clean, functional and in good condition.
A-B Temporary structures will not be accepted.
A The Directors Box must be clearly defined and should enjoy a prime position in the main stand.
A-E There must be a minimum of [A-D: 24] [E-F: 16] seats provided for Directors/Committee and guests with a minimum of [A: 16] [B-D: 12] [E: 8] seats provided for the visiting club. These seats must be clearly marked “Home” and “Away Directors”.
F There must be a minimum of 16 seats provided for Directors/Committee and guests. These seats must be clearly marked 'Home Directors' and 'Away Directors'.
G Separate seating for Directors/Committee and guests is not compulsory for this grade.
A-H Standing spectators are not allowed in or near a seated spectator stand where they can obstruct views.
Areas where no spectators are permitted to stand must be clearly marked with yellow hatched markings.
Hard standing to a minimum width of 0.9 metre, measured from the spectator side of the pitch perimeter barrier, must be provided on
A-E: all 4 sides of the ground
F: 3 sides of the ground
G: 2 adjacent end/sides of the ground with direct access from the entrance.
H: at least 2 sides of the ground.
The surface must be of a bound material.Spectators must not be permitted to access any end/side without hard standing.
A-C Clubs must be able to demonstrate that visiting supporters can be segregated when necessary.
A NOTE: Clubs may retain membership of The Football Conference Premier Division provided they have achieved a Category A Grading by 31st March in the year following promotion.
2.2 Press Seating
A-E A minimum of X seats must be provided with lighting and writing facilities for use by the press and other media . The press seating must have a clear view of the field of play.
Values of X:
F-H There is no requirement for dedicated press seating
A-H Where terracing is provided, it must comply with the requirements of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds. All terracing must be in a sound condition. Terracing that is crumbling, has grass / weeds growing through it or has broken or loose concrete will not be accepted.
A Any level surface within the ground must be hard standing, i.e. tarmac, concrete, concrete paving orother approved materials. Spectator standing areas behind the goals must be terraced unless the overall ground capacity is achieved with the exclusion of one or both of these areas. The number of terrace steps to be commensurate in achieving the overall ground capacity
B-H Any level surface within the ground should ideally be hard standing, such as tarmac, concrete, concrete paving or other approved materials which create a bound surface. However, flat and well maintained grassed areas may be acceptable
... provided the width between the hard standing (when measured from the edge farther away from the perimeter barrier) and the boundary fence does not exceed 20 metres.
A-E Spectator access must be denied to any grass banking so that it cannot be used for viewing the match.
A The installation of permanent barriers will be required [to prevent access to grass banking]. All visible grassed areas must be well maintained.
A There must be adequate toilet facilities for men and women in each area of the ground commensurate with the capacity of that area in accordance with the Green Guide.
B-H Toilets must be located within the ground and must be accessible to both male and female spectators.
B-E Such toilets need not be in a dedicated toilet block, provided access from the ground is immediate and they cannot be accessed for the duration of the match by persons using the clubhouse or any adjacent facility. (On no account may access be through licensed premises.)
F-H NB: Where it is necessary to exit the ground to gain access to toilets located in an adjacent clubhouse, these may be deemed acceptable, provided no great distance is involved.
A A minimum of two units of toilet facilities must be provided located in two separate areas within the ground, excluding those located in the clubhouse, or accessible only from within the main stand. Each unit to contain the minimum of:
B-G The following minimum toilet facilities must be provided in total, (B-E: excluding those located in any clubhousee, or accessible only from within the main stand.)
Male: [A-C: 4] [D-G: 2] urinals or equivalent and [13:04 22/07/2012A-C: 2] [D-G: 1] WCs
Female: 2 WCs
H A minimum of 2 WCs must be provided.
A-H In addition, wash hand basins, with running water, warm air hand driers and/or paper towels, together with a supply of toilet paper, must be provided in each toilet area.
A-G Whilst replaceable linen roller towels in a cabinet are acceptable, individual hand towels are not permitted
G-H The provision of toilet facilities within a clubhouse will be acceptable if these are accessible and available at all times on match days.
A-H (G-H: Otherwise) these facilities may be of the temporary or mobile kind but should be connected to the mains supply or alternative drainage system and be fully accessible with permanent access.
All toilet areas must be in working order, with operational lighting, supplied with toilet paper and maintained to [A: the highest] [B-H: a high] level of cleanliness.
These facilities may be of the temporary or mobile type but must be connected to the mains supply (H: or alternative drainage system)
A-E They must be fully accessible with permanent access.
A Clubs are recommended to refer to the guidelines in respect of new toilet installations as set out in the Football Stadia Advisory Design Council publication.
A-H The location of all toilet facilities must be indicated with appropriate signage
2.5 Refreshment Facilities
A-F A separate Directors' room (A-B: ideally near to or adjacent to the Directors seating,) must be made available in which refreshments for Directors/Committee and guests can be served.
A-E (A-B: The room) (C-E: These areas) must be able to accommodate a minimum of [A-D: 24] [E: 16] persons with nearby toilet facilities.
G-H Refreshments must be made available for visiting officials and guests.
2.5.2 Ground Refreshment Facilities
A-F Refreshment facilities must be provided in each separate area of the ground, (F: or in an adjacent clubhouse). These facilities may be of a temporary or mobile type.
G Refreshment facilities shall be provided at the ground. These facilities may be of a temporary or mobile type.
2.6 Disabled Facilities
A-H From the Appendix:A club must take account of the needs of disabled spectators and be mindful of its obligations under the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Reference may be made to the publications / data sheets issued by both The Football Association and the Football Foundation.
No specific requirement is currently included in the grading criteria but The Football Association strongly recommends that access is provided to both a covered viewing area and toilet and refreshment facilities.
3. DRESSING ROOM FACILITIES
A-H Separate dressing rooms must be provided for both teams within the enclosed area of the ground. The dressing rooms must be of sound construction, be of a permanent nature and must be of a minimum size of [A-B: 18] [D-F: 12] square metres, excluding shower and toilet areas.
A Clubs should be aware of the need to increase to a minimum of 30 square metres for membership of the Football League, as from season 2014/15.
C-E However, clubs wishing to progress beyond this Grade should be aware of the need to increase to a minimum size of 18 square metres, excluding shower and toilet areas, for a B Grade (C:and, as from season 2014/15, to a minimum of 30 square metres for membership of the
C-H Where clubs are planning to build new dressing rooms these must be a minimum size of 18 square metres, excluding shower and toilet areas.
A-H Each dressing room must have the following:
A shower area comprising of at least 4 showerheads. (A: Note: 6 shower heads are required to meet the Football League criteria.)
1 wash hand basin located outside the shower area.
(All of the above must have hot and cold running water)
At least 1 WC in a cubicle
There must be a treatment table which is clean and in good condition in each room. (F-H: unless there is a separate medical room
available for the use of both teams)
A-D NB: The Football League criteria require 6 showerheads and 2 urinals.
3.2 Match Officials
A-H The size of the match officials’ dressing room must be a minimum of [A-B: 6] [A-G: 4] square metres, excluding shower and toilet areas. [B-H: When new dressing rooms are being constructed the match officials’ room should be a minimum of 6 square metres in size, excluding shower and toilet areas]. Each match officials’ dressing room must have the following:
At least 1 showerhead
1 wash hand basin (A-F: both with hot and cold running water)
At least 1 WC in a cubicle
(A: NB: On promotion to The Football League an additional shower will be required.)
Provision should be made for separate dressing rooms for both male and female match officials. Where new dressing rooms are being constructed or existing ones are being re-designed, separate purpose built facilities for both male and female match officials must be provided.
There must be an audible electronic warning device (bell or buzzer) in working order located in the match officials’ dressing room and linked to the players’ dressing rooms.
Note: All drssing room areas must be maintained to a high standrard of cleanliness and to be heated, well ventialted and secure on matched days.
A-D There must be a suitably equipped medical treatment room for players located in the vicinity of the players’ dressing rooms. Access to this room must not be via the home or away dressing rooms.
A There must be a suitably equipped and designated First Aid Room for spectators within the boundary of the ground fitted out with services in accordance with Health & Safety requirements.
The first aid room and the location of the room must be suitably sign posted.
B Clubs must designate on match days a suitable room for the treatment of spectators within the boundary of the ground.
A-D The designated room must contain a bed or comfortable seating, with cold and, ideally, hot water, together with paper towels. Reusable individual towels are not permitted.
E-H From the Appendix: All clubs must provide first aid equipment, including a stretcher, for the use of players and spectators.
Its location in the ground, if other than in a dedicated treatment room, should be clearly marked by
notices placed in the dressing rooms for teams and match officials.
A-H At least one stretcher for the removal of injured players from the field of play must be provided.
A-H From the Appendix: There must be a nominated and suitably qualified person (minimum FA Emergency Aid Course) in attendance to assist with spectator problems unless the St John Ambulance Brigade, Red Cross Society or other capable agency are in attendance. The requirements of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds are for one first aider per 1000 anticipated spectators, with a minimum of two.
If a crowd of less than 2000 is anticipated, known and practiced arrangements should be in place to summon either a doctor or NHS ambulance alternative. For crowds of over 2000, an experienced crowd doctor should be in attendance.
NB: The above in no way purports to be a comprehensive list of Health and Safety issues which it is the responsibility of a club to address. Clubs are recommended to arrange regular safety audits conducted by persons with the appropriate expertise.
5. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
This entire section is included only in the Grade A specification
The details of the latest Football League Criteria for Admission to Membership will be
distributed to all clubs in membership of The Football Conference Premier Division during the
early part of each season.
During the early part of each Season all clubs in membership of the Premier Division of The Football Conference will be sent instructions as to how to carry out a self-assessment of its facilities having regard to The Football League’s Membership Criteria. Clubs must submit, to the Football League, with a copy to the Football Conference, a completed Self-Assessment Form at any time before 31st December in the current Season and the Football League will
review the information submitted and provide feedback.
If a club wishes to be visited by The Football League in order to perform an advisory ground visit it should request such a visit in writing. The League cannot guarantee to have the resource to make such a visit but will use reasonable endeavours to perform such a visit within three months of any request. A £1,000 (plus VAT) visit fee will be payable in respect of each club visited by The Football League. If a club pays £1,000 (plus VAT) for an advisory visit, there will be no additional charge for any subsequent visit or inspection in the same Season (including that payable on promotion). The advisory ground visit does not form part of theformal application process for membership of the Football League.
The Football Licensing Authority
Those clubs who are in contention for promotion to The Football League at 31st March each season must seek the advice of the Football Licensing Authority for guidance in the following areas in respect of ground safety to meet The Football League criteria for admission to membership: Application for such guidance must in the first instance be to the General Manager of The Football Conference. The Football League will require before the start of the club’s first full season:
Confirmation of the ground capacity, with Safety Certificate.
Emergency Lighting system serving spectator areas etc
Ground Control Room
Turnstiles of the automatic revolving type with counting facilities and a computerised turnstile
CCTV surveillance system as required by the local authority
The qualifications of the Club Chief Safety Officer and the club stewards