Board Meeting 157 - October 2009

Minutes of the hundred and fifty seventh meeting of the Football Licensing Authority held on 13 October 2009 in Harcourt House


Mr P Darling - Chairman
Dr J Dickie
Mr P Rowley
Ms J Summerell
Mr R Wilkie
Mr D Wilson
Mr J Woodrow
Mr J R K de Quidt - Chief Executive

In attendance

Mr K D Sears
Mrs N A Rutherford
Mr G Longhorn for items 5, 6 & 7

Apologies were received from Mr B Batson and Dr P Lane



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes were amended to read:

“The Chairman welcomed everyone and three of the four new members to the meeting”

The minutes were then signed by the Chairman.



Matters arising


The Chief Executive had circulated the FLA policy on action following incidents at football matches.




Chief Executive’s reports (FLA(09)20)


The Chief Executive summarised the main points from the report:


Hereford United - The club had identified what appeared to be a sensible approach to addressing their non-compliant barrier layout.  Discussions were ongoing and the Board would be kept informed.

Bristol Rovers – the local authority had been asked to provide the calculations for the standing accommodation.

Cheltenham Town – A meeting to discuss issues regarding level standing had been arranged.

For the benefit of the new members Mr Sears explained the licence requirements for terracing.  It was that all terraces:

  • comprised of continuous crush barriers between radial gangways, as outlined in paragraph 11.8 and Diagram 11.3 of the Green Guide and that  all spectators are within 12 metres of a gangway or exit;


  • the spacing, strength and construction of all the crush barriers conform to paragraph 11.2 and Table 11.2 of the Green Guide;
  • the height and positioning of all the crush barriers were in accord with paragraph 11.10 and diagram 11.4 of the Green Guide.


The Chief Executive had written to Peterborough United to remind them that clubs entering the Championship were required to make their grounds all seated.  This was enforced by means of the licence issued by the FLA under the Football Spectators Act 1989 in accordance with a direction from the Secretary of State.  Clubs have three years to meet this requirement.  Should a club be relegated during the three year period, the clock stops; it restarts from wherever it had reached when the club was promoted again. The situation at Peterborough was not straightforward and a meeting had been arranged to discuss the club’s plans.

The final text of Safety Management was ready, with the preface and digest being written.  The guidance document should be published in November.

The FLA had been approached by DCMS on behalf of LOCOG which wished to use the expertise of the FLA in the run up to 2012 Olympics. The extent of the involvement had yet to be established.  The Board would be informed once the picture became clearer.


The FLA was required to maintain a register of members' interests.  New Board members were requested to provide the necessary details as soon as possible.


New Board members to provide details of any conflict of interests.



Mid-year review of performance (FLA(09)16)

The review was divided into three sections

  • important achievements so far


  • areas of focus over the next few months
  • areas where further effort was required


The Board noted the achievements for the first half of the year.

In discussion of the second point the following comments were made:

Mr Sears summarised the process and structure of the 2009/10 audit.  This audit would examine the capacity calculation and the assessment of P and S factors undertaken by the local authority. Both Grade A and Grade B inspectors would be involved in the audit which would be undertaken within a phased timetable.  A letter outlining the next programme should be sent to local authorities as a matter of courtesy.  General feedback would be provided to the Board.

In the coming weeks both the Chairman and Chief Executive would be actively seeking to persuade the football authorities to take a higher profile on spectator behaviour.  It was intended they would meet with each of the authorities at senior level.

A discussion on persistent standing followed. It was apparent the Board considered this to be a major issue and the subject warranted a full debate on the powers, responsibilities and approach by the FLA.



Mid-year financial review  (FLA(09)18)


Mr Longhorn answered detailed questions on the accounts.  The Board accepted the statement.  For the purposes of comparison, future breakdowns of the accounts should include a column containing the last year’s outturn. Mr Longhorn agreed to add this to the statement.


Mr Longhorn to add extra column to future statements.



Accommodation  (FLA(09)19)


The paper before the Board outlined the ongoing process in the acquisition of office accommodation for the FLA headquarters.   The Board would be kept appraised of any developments.



Health and Safety at Work – annual review (FLA(09)17)


In the absence of changes in regulations or working practices which necessitated any revision, the Board agreed that these policies should remain in place.  A further report would be presented to the Board in 12 months time.




Any other business


No items were raised




Date of the next meeting


The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 10 November at 10.30am in Harcourt House.

FLA Secretariat - October 2009