Update on the Sports Grounds Safety Authority licence fee

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written statement – made am ar 5 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

I am repeating the following Written Ministerial Statement made today in the other place by my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer KC MP:

I wish to inform the House that the Government has taken the decision to reform the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) licence fee structure.

The SGSA is the regulator for spectator safety which includes the 92 designated football grounds in the Premier League and English Football League, as well as Wembley Stadium and the Principality Stadium. The SGSA also acts as the UK Government’s adviser on safety at sports grounds and a world leader in safety.

As part of its regulatory role, the SGSA issues licences to allow grounds to permit spectators to watch matches. The annual licence fee for clubs was set in 1993 at £100, which does not reflect the cost of regulation.

In 2022 the SGSA took part in the Cabinet Office public bodies review programme, which concluded the current funding model is “inflexible and not fit for purpose, with the licence fee not reflecting the costs of regulation”. In the Government response, we committed to working closely with the SGSA to consider the implications and practicalities of amending their existing funding model and explore options to enact any changes.

I am pleased to say that we have acted upon the Review's recommendation and that from the 2024-25 season the SGSA will be implementing a new fee structure for designated football grounds licensed by the SGSA. I have determined that the fee will be based on official average league attendance over the previous two seasons. This decision follows a 6-week targeted consultation led by the SGSA with the industry on the proposals to change the licence fee.

This change will ensure that the cost of regulation is met by industry and reduce the burden on the taxpayer. The SGSA will conduct a three-year review of the licence fee, which will include consultation with the sector.