The National League System has today been able to provide a process for those clubs constrained by the NLS Capacity limits to work with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) to develop a robust Socially Distanced Capacity Calculation (SG02) and utilise this as their new capacity.
This should be welcome news for those clubs most impacted by the 150 supporter limit placed upon us by the most recent guidelines.
This is the safest way for these clubs to ‘up’ their spectator limits within a robust framework.
With the capacity limits for the NLS being set at the minimum ground grading capacity of the step a club plays at, we have been able to gain approval from DCMS for a return of spectators by keeping the limits at a safe level and in most cases, satisfy clubs with the numbers that they can admit.
We know there are a small amount of clubs who would normally exceed these limits and have been financially constrained. Due to not every club within the NLS having a safe capacity calculation, we could only revisit this if we had a catch all protocol, applicable to all, that was satisfactory to government and authorities.
We are pleased to announced that The FA and the SGSA have agreed a process to be open to any NLS club who wish to explore increasing their capacity and should a club wish to exercise this option, would allow the club to admit spectators to the same principles as the new elite parameters of 4000 (Tier 1) \2000 (Tier 2) or ‘SG02’, whichever is lower, in tiers one and two respectively. In Tier 3 clubs would be able to admit 15% of any final SG02 capacity calculated at a maximum, save for any change in policy on elite spectators in Tier 3 from government.
Clubs who would benefit from a calculation for the majority of their league fixtures would make contact directly with the SGSA and the club would be liable for any costs for agreed process with the SGSA. We would not allow a club to increase or change their limits without consultation with the SGSA or a clubs local authority / SAG. However the detail of an SG02 calculation should assist such negotiations to any authority.
Any club who wishes to discuss with the SGSA getting a safe capacity and an SG02 calculation should contact Darren Whitehouse at the SGSA who can be contacted at Darren.Whitehouse@sgsamail.org.uk ensuring that your league are aware who can keep The FA updated.
Clubs would need to consider if a calculation would make a significant impact on their new capacity.”
National League System Manager
Football Operations Division