Football Safety Officers Association conference 2023

FGH Security at FSOA

From Wembley to Anfield, Vicarage Road to Emirates Old Trafford, every week, #TeamFGH are #KeepingPeopleSafe at some of the best stadia in the world, so this week, we were delighted to attend the 2023 Football Safety Officers Association conference. Speaking about the conference, #TeamFGH Special Projects Director and former Safety Officer, David Mangan said;

“It was a pleasure to represent #TeamFGH alongside many of our Operational Managers at the FSOA conference this year. The FSOA work tirelesly to support Safety Officers throughout the UK and as always, it was a very well attended and superbly managed event. We are very much looking forward to 2024”

Area Manager, Daniel Frimpong, who oversees our Steward and Security provision at Wembley Stadium and Vicarage Road said;

“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. It was very insightful to listen to many of the guest speakers and found it incredibly useful. The account from Miriam Stone (Director of Operations at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017) was inspirational. Her presentation went into depth about the day of the tragic event from a different perspective and provoked thoughts on how to deal with an emergency situation, keeping composed and making dynamic decisions when essentially all of the pre operational and management plans are shattered.

I also found the insight from Sharon Cicco, former Event & Safety Officer at Arsenal FC a highlight for me personally. Being a Gooner, taking a deeper look into what the safety operation looks like at Arsenal was very interesting”

Often in the background, working hard in the Control Room, Safety Officers play a critical role in #KeepingPeopleSafe. Responsible for ensuring the safety of 10’000’s spectators, coordinating 100’s of Stewards, liaising with Match & Club Officials, and many other essential tasks, the role of the Safety Officer cannot be underestimated.

The role of a Safety Officer at UK football stadia was introduced following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 people lost their lives due to overcrowding and inadequate safety measures. A coroner later ruled that Andrew Devine, 55, who died 32 years after suffering severe and irreversible brain damage at Hillsborough, was unlawfully killed, and that therefore he was legally the 97th victim.

Following the disaster, the UK Government implemented one of the key recommendations from the Taylor Report, which was the appointment of a Safety Officer at each football ground to ensure the safety of spectators, and this has been a requirement for all football clubs in the country since then. The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), a UK government agency funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is responsible for overseeing safety at sports grounds in England and Wales, including football grounds, and its role is to ensure that sports grounds meet the necessary safety standards while working with clubs and venue owners to manage risks and ensure the safety of spectators.

The SGSA provides guidance and advice to football clubs and other sports venues on safety matters, including the design and operation of sports grounds, emergency planning and response, and risk assessment. The agency also carries out regular inspections of sports grounds to ensure that they comply with safety regulations and to identify areas for improvement.

The SGSA has the power to issue safety certificates to sports grounds, which are required under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. These certificates specify the maximum number of spectators that a sports ground can accommodate and outline the safety measures that must be in place to ensure the safety of those spectators. The SGSA can also revoke safety certificates if a sports ground fails to meet safety standards or if there are concerns about the safety of spectators.

In addition to its regulatory role, the SGSA also works closely with football clubs and other stakeholders to promote best practices in sports ground safety and to share knowledge and expertise in this area.

You can read more about our stadia work here


Meet the team...

The support team is passionate about ensuring our people have all the tools they need to get their jobs done to a high level and keep people safe. Our training never stops, and we all take part in ongoing executive education which is themed around Leadership, Lean, Mindfulness and Teamwork.

Are you interested in applying for a position with us?