Next Match: vs Larkhall Athletic (H) | Fri 26th Jul 2024, 7:30 pm




Hardenhuish Park
Bristol Rd.
SN14 6LR


2.1 General Statement of Intent 4
2.2 Matchday Safety Organisation 5
2.3 Chairman and Board of Directors Responsibilities 5
2.4 Safety Officer Responsibilities 6
2.5 Matchday Senior Steward Responsibilities 6
2.6 Accident and Incident Reporting and Investigation 7
2.7 Monitoring of Arrangements 7
2.8 Contractors or Volunteers Carrying Out Works 7
2.9 Communications 8
2.10 Maintenance of Records 9
2.11 Policy Approval 9
3.1 The Ground 10
3.2 Ground Rules and Regulations 10
3.3 Ground Capacity 10
3.4 Matchday Safety Management 14
3.5 Stewards 16
3.6 The Players’ Tunnel and Dressing Rooms Area 17
3.7 Match Officials Briefing 18
3.8 Control Point 19
3.9 PA Announcer Room 19
3.10 Police Attendance 20
3.11 Media Arrangements 21
3.12 Access to the Ground 21
3.13 Disabled/Mobility Impaired Spectators 22
3.14 Matchday Attendance 23
3.15 Toilets/Washroom Accommodation 23
3.16 Food and Drink 23
3.17 First Aid 23
3.18 Lost Property 24
3.19 Accidents and Incidents 25
3.20 Child Protection 25


This Match Day Operations Manual and the procedures contained within have been produced to assist Chippenham Town Football Club (hereon referred to as the ‘Club’) in safeguarding the safety and enjoyment of all who attend matches at Hardenhuish Park. Its contents relate specifically to the Ground and apply to Chippenham Town match days.

The Club fosters a culture where all health and safety matters can be raised and discussed openly since it cannot fix things it does not know about. Concerns and safety improvement suggestions can be raised with any Club official and may be specifically directed to the Club’s Safety Officer, Football Secretary, General Manager or Chairman. The Club’s health and safety arrangements and related matters are considered as necessary at Board meetings.

The key objectives of this manual are to:

• Ensure the safety of all who visit the Ground on match days, including spectators, players, officials and Club staff/volunteers.
• Provide proactive safety management processes and immediate response plans to react to any emergency or significant safety risk.
• Maintain public order and control in the event of disorder or ground evacuation.
• Guide assistance to the emergency services in response to any incident.
• Prevent damage to the fabric of the stadium, premises and facilities.

This manual considers those incidents most likely to occur. It cannot cover every possible incident. However, preparedness and a flexible capability of Club officials and staff in the adoption and application of the plans within this manual will enable the best possible response to any eventuality.


2.1 General Statement of Intent

Chippenham Town Football Club accepts its responsibility to comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, The Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 and other subordinate Legislation, Regulations and Codes of Practice. The Club recognises the importance of providing a safe and secure matchday environment for all people attending games and any other persons affected by the Club’s match day operations.

In exercising its responsibility and commitment, the Board of Directors of Chippenham Town Football Club will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the effective implementation of this health and safety policy and will provide leadership in matters of health and safety. They will keep the organisation and arrangements for health and
safety under review and initiate revision, as and when necessary, in consultation with the Safety Officer.

The Chairman has overall responsibility for health and safety within the Club and is accountable to the Board of Directors for fulfilment of this Health and Safety Policy. A Safety Officer, accountable to the Chairman, may be appointed and is supported by Club staff, officials and volunteers. The Safety Officer advises on all safety related matters and has ultimate authority for decisions on any match day safety critical issues should they arise, from one hour before kick-off until one hour after the match has ended.

To safeguard matchday safety and manage risks before, during and immediately after games, Chippenham Town FC may consult with opposing clubs and other organisations, not limited to but including: the local Police Service, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Local Authority (Council), the Football Association FA) and the Southern Premier Football League.

2.2 Matchday Safety Organisation

Safety Organisational Chart


Safety Officer

Stewards and Support Staff

2.3 Chairman and Board of Directors Responsibilities

• Approve and review the Health and Safety Policy and related documents and reports.

• Put in place arrangements for the implementation of the policy, identifying a responsible Board Member with the exception of matters relating to football and the footballers where the relevant Team Management will be responsible.

• Set overall standards, give leadership and direction and delegate appropriate responsibilities throughout the Club.

• Monitor and review the effectiveness of health and safety arrangements and performance.

• Provide appropriate resources to meet health and safety requirements, subject to risk assessment, finances available and Club priorities.

• Appoint a Safety Officer who will oversee health and safety arrangements within the Ground and, where affected by the game, the immediate area around the Ground.

2.4 Safety Officer Responsibilities

• Develop, maintain, implement and periodically review an adequate Match day Operations Manual that details the Club’s Health and Safety Policy, Rules, Regulations and Procedures in relation to matchday activities.

• Develop, maintain and review documented risk assessments and inspection processes for match day activities. Any resulting controls to be implemented via appropriate responsible Club personnel. Further, review whenever there are significant changes to the Ground layout, spectator management requirements or legislative requirements that may impact the risk profile or introduce new risks.

• Oversee, coordinate and monitor health and safety match day performance to ensure policy is complied with, including the prompt investigation of accidents and incidents, and the initiation of corrective action as necessary.

• Work with the Match day Senior Steward and Steward team to support them to comply with their responsibilities and to stimulate proactivity in maintaining and improving match day health and safety management.

• Ensure all match day staff understand how the policy relates to their role and the performance of their agreed duties and provide suitable training, instruction, supervision and guidance relating to those duties.

• Ensure match day contracted service providers (e.g. professional Stewards) are competent for their roles and do not impose liabilities on the Club.

• Take appropriate measures to remove hazards or reduce them to as low as reasonably practicable where they cannot be removed.

• Along with the Club Secretary, liaise with other clubs, football authorities, regulatory authorities, emergency services and other parties with regard to safety arrangements at the Ground.

• Provide appropriate reports in response to any incident or complaint relating to matchday operations.

2.5 Match Day Senior Steward Responsibilities

• Support and deputise for the Safety Officer in the management of health and safety related issues.

• Organise and supervise Match day Stewards, including the assignment of duties and ensuring those duties are carried out diligently and effectively.

• Conduct a Ground walkabout inspection before and after the match to monitor Ground arrangements and identify any issues.

• Safeguard the Players’ Tunnel area prior to the kick off, at half-time and at full-time.

• Ensure match officials are escorted from the field of play at full-time and, if deemed necessary, at half-time.

• Ensure any persons who go pitch side (e.g. photographers, mascots, sponsors, etc.) are aware of and comply with appropriate safety requirements.

• Relay information, when required, from the Safety Officer/Control Point to the Referee (and vice versa) or Assistant Referees, or via the Fourth Official where one is present.

• Arrange for match day equipment (e.g. signage, cones, etc.) to be put out and ensure emergency exit doors from the Stadium are in an operable condition an hour before match kick-off (i.e. before turnstiles are open and spectators enter the Ground). Likewise the equipment should be put back into storage and exits closed at the end of the match after spectators have left the Ground.

• Organise car parking arrangements for at least one hour before kick-off time.

2.6 Accident and Incident Reporting and Investigation

All Match day related accidents or incidents will be recorded and appropriately investigated so that lessons may be learned and health and safety arrangements reviewed and improved as necessary. An Accident Report Form is at Appendix E.

2.7 Monitoring of Arrangements

The Safety Officer is charged with the responsibility for carrying out regular reviews of procedures and progress within the Club. Match day related arrangements and activities will be subject to a systematic, critical examination in order to identify any falling or failing standards and the means by which performance may be improved. The Safety Officer will provide periodic reports for the Board of Directors that will include accident/incident statistics, details of inspections and any other activities undertaken.

2.8 Contractors or Volunteers Carrying Out Works

Any significant planned design and construct at the Ground must be approved by the Chairman and Safety Officer prior to commencement of works.

Contractors or volunteers who carry out work at the Ground must be competent for the work they carry out and comply with the Club’s health and safety policy and procedures and undertake their work in a safe manner. They are responsible for ensuring their own plant, tools and equipment are in a safe condition and, where applicable, comply with all relevant legislation, standards, codes of practice and manufacturer’s instructions.

Where work activities carry significant risk potential, a risk assessment must be conducted and those carrying out the work must follow any resultant safe systems of work to control and manage those risks appropriately.

If any person identifies any unsafe working practice, hazardous situation or defective equipment that puts people at significant or imminent risk, the work must be stopped and only progressed further once the situation is remedied to the Club’s satisfaction.

2.9 Communications

The Club will endeavour to maintain health and safety related communications with the public, spectators, staff and volunteers by a variety of methods, including but not limited to:

• Information in Match day programmes

• Match day PA announcements

• Club website, social media, blogs, etc.

• Club publications (e.g. newsletters, posters, notices, hand flyers, etc.)

• Club season tickets scheme and other membership schemes

• Via the Supporters’ Club and associated websites and social media

• Stewards, Club Officials and other Match day staff

• Local media and newspapers

• Club nights such as ‘Meet the Chairman’ and ‘Meet the Manager’

The Club will encourage feedback and two-way communication from all sources within and outside the Club on safety related matters. People are actively encouraged to raise safety related issues at any time and, upon being made aware, the Safety Officer or another Club official will investigate them and initiate actions as necessary.

At least one hard copy of this Matchday Operations Manual (and associated documents) will be held at the Ground as a living document. This also means it is readily available for inspection purposes. Those documents produced in soft copy (e.g. risk assessments, ground inspections, etc.) are all held in a shared document repository that is accessible for authorised Club officials, including Board Members.

2.10 Maintenance of Records

The Club appreciates the importance of producing and maintaining records for safety related matters. The Club acknowledges that there are areas, issues and items requiring inspections, tests and records, where the services of competent persons are required from time to time, whether internal to the Club or externally.

Appropriate records will be maintained within the Club and will be subject of regular review by the appropriate Club officials. The Match Day Operations Manual and associated documents and equipment are held at the Club ready for inspection.

2.11 Policy Approval

This policy and supporting organisational arrangements are approved by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chippenham Town Football Club.

N. Blackmore

Date: 01/01/2016


3.1 The Ground

The Stadium is located off the Bristol Road, Chippenham adjacent to Chippenham Sports Club. Plans of the Ground and Clubhouse are at Annexes A and B.

The Ground has parking for 20 cars. Local roads are able to cater for additional cars.
Visiting club’s team and supporters’ coaches make use of the public car park below the ground or the main Bristol Road. The car park is organised so that there is access to the Ground for emergency vehicles. Stewards manage and monitor the car park and at the appropriate time a visible ‘Car Park Full’ sign is placed at an appropriate position to forewarn arriving motorists.

Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance stations are within a few minutes of the ground and the nearest train station to the ground is Chippenham, approximately 15 minutes walk from the Ground via Bristol Road.

The Ground is bounded by wooden perimeter fencing on three sides and brick on one side. A CCTV in operation sign is posted above and adjacent to the main entrance.
All emergency exits lead to hard standing pathways and foliage is managed to keep these clear and visible. Waste bins are located throughout the Ground to manage litter and prevent build-up of combustible rubbish and are emptied following each match.

Clear signs are in place requesting that people visiting the Ground and Clubhouse consider local residents when leaving the premises. Appropriate PA announcements to this effect are made at the end of each match.

3.2 Ground Rules and Regulations

People are only allowed entry to the Stadium on Match days subject to the following rules and regulations which are clearly posted on the snack bar adjacent to the entry to the Ground.

3.3 Ground Capacity

The current (as at Jan 2016) approved total capacity of the Ground is 2,574 (see Appendix 1).

The approved capacity is dependent on Stadium access and egress arrangements and barriers in place (i.e. pitch perimeter barriers and crush barriers). These are visually inspected by the Safety Officer on a regular basis with any necessary work identified and actions initiated for them to be properly maintained.

The Club is committed to improving the spectator experience at the Ground and will continue to make improvements to its fabric as funds become available.

In advance of each match, the Safety Officer will conduct a risk based assessment taking into account the match status and profile, events at recent home matches and recent history between the two clubs.

This process is intended to inform and guide planning for appropriate Match day safety arrangements. It is recognised that actual arrangements on the day may differ to the proposed arrangements below since each game needs to be assessed on its own particular merits and dynamic risk assessment on the day may result in changes.

The risk assessment process for all Chippenham Town FC matches will determine the match as one of the three risk ratings detailed below:

Low Risk

Likely to be the majority of league, cup and friendly matches

Competitive matches – all the following conditions apply:
• Estimated attendance below 700
• Anticipated away support below 50
• No known reasons to suspect potential crowd disturbance
• No recent history of significant incidents between the clubs
• No other known reasons to raise the risk level above Low

Friendly matches – all the following conditions apply:
• Estimated attendance up to 1,000
• Anticipated away support below 250
• No known reasons to suspect potential crowd disturbance
• No recent history of significant incidents between the clubs
• No other known reasons to raise the risk level above Low

Proposed match day arrangements
• Standard stewarding arrangements
• Standard communications and announcements
• Standard first aid arrangements
• No consultation with the Police or other authorities required

Medium Risk

Likely to be an occasional important league or cup competition match or a friendly against football league opposition

Competitive matches – any or some of the following conditions apply:
• Estimated attendance 700 to 1,000
• Anticipated away support of between 50 to 250
• Reason to suspect potential for crowd disturbance
• Recent history of low level incidents between the clubs
• Any other known reasons or foreseeable issues that raise the risk level to Medium, including intelligence or advice from the Police or other authorities

Friendly matches – any or some of the following conditions apply:
• Estimated attendance 1,000 to 1,500
(i.e. Football League/Premiership opposition)
• Anticipated away support of above 250 to 500
• Reason to suspect potential for crowd disturbance
• Recent history of low level incidents between the clubs
• Any other known reasons or foreseeable issues that raise the risk level to Medium, including intelligence or advice from the Police or other authorities

Potential additional match day arrangements
• Provision of suitable number of additional stewards to supplement the standard stewarding arrangements
• Standard communications and announcements
• Consideration of use of plastic glasses at the bar pre-match and at half-time
• Consideration to exclude away supporters from the bar post-match
• Consideration to provide additional temporary toilet provision
• Additional dedicated first aider(s) on site to supplement standard first aid arrangements
• Inform the Police and other authorities as deemed appropriate, though consultation not a requirement

High Risk

Anticipated this is likely to be limited to high profile matches such as an advanced round in the FA Cup or FA Trophy/Vase, a league title decider, a league play-off match or a friendly against a Premiership club

Competitive matches – any or some of the following conditions apply
• Estimated attendance 1,000+
• Anticipated away support of 250+
• Strong reason to suspect potential for crowd disturbance
• Recent history of significant incidents between the clubs
• Any other known reasons or foreseeable issues that raise the risk assessment rating above Medium, including intelligence or advice of the Police or other authorities

Friendly matches – any or some of the following conditions apply
• Estimated attendance 1,500+
• Anticipated away support of 500+
• Strong reason to suspect potential for crowd disturbance
• Recent history of significant incidents between the clubs
• Any other known reasons or foreseeable issues that raise the risk assessment rating above Medium, including intelligence or advice of the Police or other authorities

Potential additional match day arrangements
• Consultation with Police to decide on required safety arrangements, including the level of stewarding and policing for the match
• Consideration of suitable ticketing arrangements
• Consideration of whether segregation arrangements required for the clubhouse and stadium
• Use of plastic glasses at the bar pre-match and at half-time
• Exclusion of away supporters from the bar post-match
• Consideration of the provision of separate turnstile arrangements
• Consideration of provision of additional temporary toilet provision
• Additional dedicated first aider(s) on site to supplement standard first aid arrangements
• Agreed communications and announcements
• Inform the Police and other authorities as deemed appropriate, though consultation not a requirement

Non first team matches

All other matches held at the Stadium involving Chippenham Town FC teams (e.g. reserves, under-18s or ladies) are anticipated to attract crowds of below 100 and are rated as very low risk. These can be adequately managed by club officials present, together with the team managers and their assistants and the match officials. If, by exception, a large crowd is anticipated that presents a higher level of risk, then Chippenham Town FC will assess the risk and put in place appropriate arrangements.

Representative matches and hosted cup finals

These matches will normally be managed by the match organisers, as agreed with Chippenham Town FC.

In the event the Club decides to erect temporary demountable stands of any size to increase Match day Ground capacity or improve the spectator experience, it will use the services of a competent supplier. The Safety Officer will review their risk assessment, in consultation with the supplier (and Police and the local authority if appropriate) to ensure the stand is suitable and approved for its intended matchday use and capacity.

The provision of any other temporary demountable structures (such as television gantries, lighting towers, information boards or advertising hoardings) will also be provided by a competent supplier and be likewise risk assessed and checked for stability and fire safety prior to matchday use.

3.4 Match Day Safety Management

A pre-match Ground inspection will be conducted and tasks and activities undertaken to safeguard spectator safety. Where hazards carrying significant risk are identified, they will be made safe or reasonable steps taken to ensure spectators are not exposed to the hazard. The inspection, Match day details and Match day incidents are recorded on the Club’s Match Day Report Form.

Once the turnstiles are opened, and up until one hour after the end of the game, the Safety Officer will have complete authority and control over all safety related matters. Where a Police Match Commander is engaged this role will be undertaken in conjunction with that officer.

Stewards will be deployed to suitable visible Ground locations to monitor the crowd. Numbers and siting of Stewards will vary match by match depending on the risk assessment, size of crowd, crowd congregation, etc. Stewards will be suitably trained and instructed in their allocated duties by the Safety Officer and made familiar with the necessary contents of this manual. Any additional information over and above standard Match Day practices will be provided to Stewards prior to each game to enable them to carry out their duties satisfactorily. As a minimum, there will be a ratio of one Steward per 250 of the anticipated attendance, increasing to one per 100 spectators where the risk assessment shows a need for a higher level of safety management. In practice, the Club’s Steward to crowd ratios are usually nearer 1:100 for most matches, as the Club generally seeks to exceed minimum requirements. Where matches are considered medium or high risk, additional professional Stewards may be recruited as necessary.

In addition to Stewards, Club officials may actively site themselves near to or among home and away supporters where they deem their visibility will actively discourage inappropriate behaviour. This gives the added benefit that they may be able to witness inappropriate behaviour and may choose to intervene to prevent escalation. Those Club Officials are also able to don high visibility vests/jackets at short notice should there be a need to rapidly increase visible Steward numbers.

Once the Turnstiles are open, crowd conditions will be monitored for signs of overcrowding, distress and disorder. In the event of an incident (or imminent potential for an incident) the following factors will be considered in determining action to be taken:

• Whether spectators are at risk
• Magnitude of the risk
• Imminence of the risk
• Potential for the incident to spread or escalate
• Ability and availability of resources to manage the risk
• Whether other Club officials are already handling the situation

Following the game the Safety Officer will complete the Match Day Report Form and will produce any required incident reports, which will be available for any investigations or requests for information from authorities, and retained for record purposes.

Stewards are a critical part of the wider safety management team and should report to the Safety Officer at least one hour before kick-off time (or at an alternative pre-agreed time). Their principal role is to undertake duties that will assist in maximizing spectator care and safety. They are required to manage and monitor the crowd and be a visible influence on spectators to comply with the Club’s Ground rules and regulations, including the prohibition of offensive, racist or homophobic language or behaviour.

If Stewards are provided by the visiting club to oversee visiting supporters, they will be asked to arrive at least one hour before kick-off. The Safety Officer will familiarise them with the Ground and brief them on Ground management procedures and specific factors for the match. Likewise visiting Police Officers will also be briefed.

Stewards should always use judgment and avoid putting themselves in a potentially dangerous position. If in doubt on how to approach a situation, Stewards should seek the guidance and support of the Safety Officer. Where necessary, the support of other Club staff, officials and Board members will be enlisted.

If criminal behaviour is witnessed or suspected, Stewards should bring this to the attention of the Safety Officer and the Club will report it to the Police (calling 999) if deemed appropriate. Stewards must support the Police in the conduct of their duties, including giving the Police maximum information and facts.

If deemed necessary, Stewards may be used to escort match officials and opposition players and team management to the Boardroom or to their vehicles after a match.

Where spectators are in breach of Club rules and regulations (outlined elsewhere in this manual), they should be approached by Stewards and reminded of the rule or regulation and requested to comply. This is normally sufficient action to gain compliance. Where they continue to breach policy they should be warned that they will be asked to leave the Ground. Where the behaviour persists Stewards should seek assistance for escorting persons from the Ground.

Any persons asked to leave the Ground, for any reason, should be escorted to the nearest exit, however the Club recognises there may be occasions when a different exit may be used because the nearest exit is not the safest – for instance if the nearest exit means passing aggressive spectators. Stewards should always use judgement in these types of situations. Names and addresses of offenders should be requested for record purposes and in case the Club wishes to take additional sanctions. If this information is refused, a full description of appearance should be recorded. Minimum non-aggressive actions may be used in escorting people from the Ground. Judgement should be used as to whether to call for Police support in case a situation could escalate and turn violent.

The types of hostile behaviour that may lead to people being asked to leave the Ground include:

• Entering the Ground other than by official turnstiles and entrances

• Throwing an object (including pyrotechnics) onto the field of play or towards players, officials or spectators

• Repeated offensive shouts or chants despite being warned

• Indecent, homophobic or racist shouts or chants

• Pitch incursion

• Actual or threat of violence

• Drunkenness or being in the possession of alcohol within the Ground

• Climbing on floodlight pylons, fences, structures or buildings

3.5 Stewards

All Stewards are ambassadors of the Club and this should be reflected in their approach to spectators and the way they react to them. Stewards are responsible for ensuring the safety, security and wellbeing of spectators attending matches at the Ground and report directly to the Safety Officer.

General duties are to:

• Control or direct spectators when entering, while inside and when leaving the Ground.
• Provide spectators with reasonable help and assistance when required.
• Only allow Ground entry to valid ticket holders or legitimate Club guests.
• Watch out for actual or potential crowd disturbance.
• Watch out for spectator distress and obtain appropriate support.
• Watch out for overcrowding and direct the crowd appropriately to relieve the situation.
• Report any Ground issues or emergencies and raise the alarm appropriately.
• Maintain view lines of seated spectators, ensure spectators in seated stands remain seated so as not to obscure other spectators’ views, and keep hatched areas around seated stands clear of standing spectators.
• Report any Ground damage issues to the Safety Officer.
• Remove and dispose of any observed debris or potential missiles or alcohol or pyrotechnics.
• Ensure no glasses or glass bottles are brought into the Ground and no alcoholic drinks consumed inside the Ground.
• Direct spectators to emergency exits in an evacuation situation.
• Assist with the escort of persons from the Ground.
• If Police are in attendance, assist them as requested before, during and after the match.

Expected Steward behaviours are to:

• Wear a high visibility vest or jacket.
• Be polite, courteous and helpful to spectators.
• Refrain from the use of obscene or offensive language.
• Concentrate on their duties ahead of the match itself.
• Not overtly smoke, be discrete.
• Avoid consuming alcohol before or during the match.
• Not overtly wear team colours/items that demonstrate allegiance.
• Not overtly celebrate good play and goals by their team.

In addition to the above, Stewards are required to have the following characteristics:

• At least 19 years of age.
• Physically fit enough to carry out their duties.
• A competent communicator.
• Punctual in attendance – if likely to be late they should send a message.
• Of such character they are unlikely to act in a way that discredits the Club.

Volunteer Stewards will be part of a ‘pool’ and are expected to be proactive in letting the Safety Officer know which matches they are likely to be available or unavailable to carry out duties.

3.6 The Players’ Tunnel and Dressing Rooms Area

The area surrounding the Players’ Tunnel is recognised as potentially sensitive with greatest potential for an incident. Stewards working this area must carry out additional duties as below:

Before the Match
Check the surrounding area for building/fence/equipment damage and remove any debris and anything that could be used as a missile. Ensure players, coaching staff and match officials can enter the field of play, to warm up and commence play, without risk or hindrance. Entry into the dressing rooms must only be permitted to authorised persons; if in doubt do not permit entry and contact a Club official to verify whether the person has authority for entry.

During the Match
Keep the tunnel area clear. Do not allow entry into the dressing rooms except for authorised persons. If in doubt, check that the changing rooms are appropriately locked secure.

Half Time and After the Match
Five minutes before the anticipated half-time and final whistles, be in position to secure the Players’ Tunnel so that players, coaching staff and match officials can leave the field of play safely and without risk or hindrance. The Safety Officer or Senior Steward will escort the match officials off the pitch.

Stewards should monitor the Players’ Tunnel area and, if Steward resources are stretched, enlist the assistance of other Club officials to keep it clear. The Safety Officer will usually be sited in this area at least 5 minutes before half-time and full-time to be in prime visibility position and to observe spectator behaviours.

3.7 Match Officials Briefing

The Safety Officer or the Senior Steward will be assigned to liaise with the match officials should there be any problems. They are there for the match officials’ protection and to liaise with them if there are any off pitch issues that they need to be made aware of.

Match officials will be briefed prior to the match that, in the event of an emergency situation developing, the Safety Officer or Senior Steward will attract the attention of the Referee or one of the Referee’s Assistants. Following appropriate consultation, the Referee will then follow the instructions given, in the worst case scenario instructing officials and management teams and players to leave the field of play and go to the changing rooms or other identified place of relative safety.

If an individual is dismissed from the team technical area they must leave the area by the touchline immediately. In line with Football Association guidance, the Club has designated two approved areas where they may view the rest of the match. The first (and priority) approved area is the designated Directors’ seating. Only if there are no available seats in the Directors’ seating should the person then use the second approved area, which will be determined on the day. Both are remote from the dugouts and technical areas. The behaviour of such persons will then be monitored by Stewards and/or Club officials who will report any further misconduct should it occur. Similarly these arrangements will apply if the Club is aware of someone who is serving a touchline ban as a result of an FA Regulatory Commission order. This covers all levels of football played at the Ground.

If there is a pitch incursion or any other incident that threatens the safety of players or match officials, the match officials will be advised on action to take, including leading the players and match officials to a place of safety, which could vary depending on the incident scenario and location, but would normally be either the pitch centre circle or the dressing rooms.

If the Club needs to speak to match officials due to an off-pitch incident (e.g. crowd disorder, ill health incident, Ground structural damage, etc), the Referee will be summoned to be consulted or instructed on action to take, which could (in extreme circumstances) include temporary suspension or abandonment of the match.

3.8 Control Point

The Control Point is located next to the snack bar. The PA Announcer facilities are housed in the Match Day Office The Control Point will be made available to the Police Match Commander should the Police attend for higher risk/profile matches.

3.9 PA Announcer Room

The PA Announcer facilities are housed in the Match Day Office from where the PA Announcer has easy access to the Control Point and Club officials and full view of the whole Ground. The PA equipment will have access to a loudhailer should the mains electricity fail, so that messages can be transmitted to spectators. Additionally the PA Announcer has a suite of agreed messages that are to be used in emergency or contingency circumstances (see Contingencies section of this manual).

If the PA system fails during a match, the Safety Officer will make a judgement on whether the match should continue based on factors including: the match time of the failure; natural lighting conditions; weather conditions; size of crowd; potential reaction of the crowd, etc. These factors will be different for each match and the focus of the decision must be the safety of spectators, not other peripheral factors.

The PA Announcer must:

• Be articulate and speak clearly.
• Give the name of all goal scorers and players involved in substitutions.
• Test the emergency PA system before each game.
• Adhere to all requests made by the Safety Officer or other senior Club officials.
• Give equal treatment to home and away supporters.
• Know his responsibilities for emergency evacuation messages.
• Request that spectators consider local residents when leaving the Ground.

The PA Announcer must not:

• Make any public criticism of the match officials or their decisions.
• Make any public criticism of either team or its officials.
• Make any comments that may antagonize any spectators.
• Use any language that may encourage prejudice or discrimination.
• Use foul or abusive language.
• Make any derogatory comments about supporters or make light of an incident.
• Use music in a manner which is intended to suggest any of the above.
• Play music over safety messages.
• Act in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the game.

3.10 Police Attendance

The Safety Officer will engage with the local Police contact and inform the Police of Medium and High risk rated matches. Police Officers will be made welcome whenever they choose to visit the Ground. The Club wishes to have good relations with the Police and is happy to familiarise local Police Officers with the Ground, Clubhouse and Club safety management arrangements.

Where it has been agreed with the Police that a Police presence is necessary, the most senior Police officer will assume the role of Match Commander and will monitor spectators and Ground conditions from the Control Point where he will liaise with the Safety Officer. The Club is committed to giving all possible assistance to the Police and will provide reasonable facilities to enable them to carry out their duties.

The duties and responsibilities of the Match Commander and other Police Officers is a matter for the Police, however the role is likely to include:-

• Ensuring public order.
• The gathering and distribution of crowd intelligence.
• Controlling the crowd outside the Ground.
• Surveillance of the crowd.
• Liaison with the Club’s Safety Officer
• Dealing with criminal offences.
• Assisting the Club with crowd control inside the Ground.

Where a large number of supporters from the visiting club is expected, advanced planning between the Club, the visiting club, the Police and the local authority will be arranged to agree necessary ticketing arrangements and whether crowd segregation is required, and if so what Ground accommodation will be provided.

Once visiting supporters numbers are known, additional arrangements need to be agreed so that the visiting supporters are suitably:

• Directed and welcomed to the Ground

• Directed to the appropriate entrances (Clubhouse and Ground)

• Accommodated safely (including Stewards, catering and toilet accommodation)

• Informed of any specific arrangements within the Ground and on their departure

3.11 Media Arrangements

A Press Box is situated in the Main Stand. This is provided with power.

Should TV media apply to cover a match, the Club will agree appropriate locations for the TV cameras. If a view from height is required, the Club will only allow a competent supplier to provide a safe accessible temporary structure as a gantry once payment of associated costs is agreed (as detailed elsewhere in this manual). Media staff will not be permitted to operate from a vantage point at height that is not approved by the Club and deemed safe by risk assessment.

Approved press photographers may be permitted to go pitch side of the perimeter barriers. They will be required to site themselves away from the pitch touchline such that they are not a hazard to active players or players warming up, or an obstruction to the viewing lines of spectators. If requested to do so, they must wear a high visibility vest or jacket.

3.12 Access to the Ground

Turnstile Operators operate the turnstiles and issue tickets to people paying to access the Ground at the Main Gate (see Ground plan). The Turnstile Operators are supervised by a senior Club official who is on hand to manage any risks and deal with any customer issues or complaints, so that the Turnstile Operators can concentrate on their task and the throughput of spectators. All Turnstile Operators undergo training and their performance is monitored by the supervising Club official. The turnstiles’ area(s) and main Ground entrance(s) are staffed until there is low likelihood of additional spectators arriving.

The Club will endeavour to have trained personnel available to open at least one additional turnstile over and above that anticipated adequate for the estimated attendance, in case the crowd is larger than expected. Cash is regularly counted and removed to the Match Day Office for security purposes. This limits the amount of cash held at the turnstiles to reduce likelihood and impact of theft, and allows the bulk of cash to be stored safely until after the match when at least two senior Club officials reconcile actual cash collected against expected cash collected, given the known attendance.

The Ground main entrance(s) will be staffed by an experienced Steward, who will have a list of authorised officials and guests and is empowered to allow access to those presenting valid season tickets to help reduce pressure on the turnstiles. This Steward also monitors queues at the turnstiles and advises if additional turnstiles need to be opened.

The Club reserves the right to deny entry to anyone insisting on bringing a large bag (including a case, backpack or similar carrying item) into the Ground. If the person is willing to show the bag contents to Stewards then judgement will be used as to whether to allow entry. At no times should Stewards or Club officials physically search a person or bag.

Pre-match Stewards will be sited near to other entrance/exits to the Ground, to prevent unauthorised entry to the Ground from these points. All persons attempting to gain access via these points will be politely redirected to the turnstiles. All entrances/exits will be inspected and continually monitored during matchdays to ensure they are available for emergency use.

Access to seated stand accommodation is not included in the standard match ticket prices and is paid for separately on entry to the stand and appropriate Stewarding is in place. Sight lines are maintained by signage advising no standing in seated areas, painted hatched areas that are to be kept clear and supervision by Stewards who will politely ask standing spectators to be seated or stand beyond the hatched areas. Experience demonstrates that people move on or sit down upon polite Steward request provided the reason is explained.

3.13 Disabled/Mobility Impaired Spectators

For spectators in wheelchairs, there are spaces in the main stand immediately adjacent to the entry point (see Ground plan). Seating is readily available for any helpers to sit close by. Ready access is available to wheelchair accessible toilets.

Where spectators have other mobility impairments (e.g. frail/elderly, on crutches, etc) and require parking in the car park, they can inform the Club in advance and the Stewards will make every effort to reserve an appropriate parking place and Ground seating.

Stewards will take necessary steps to minimise interference in viewing lines for disabled or mobility impaired spectators.

If a visually or hearing impaired spectator requires the assistance of a guide dog, the dog will be allowed access to the Ground free of charge – other dogs are permitted into the Ground only at the discretion of Club officials depending on the dog’s nature and match/ crowd circumstances. If required, a suitable seating or terrace location will be provided where the dog can comfortably rest. Additionally a bowl of water may be provided upon request. Guide dogs may also be admitted into the Clubhouse.

Where a disabled person’s condition requires attendance of a personal assistant, the Club will admit the personal assistant free of charge.

3.14 Match Day Attendance

The Safety Officer will estimate anticipated Match day attendance as part of the proactive risk assessment process detailed elsewhere in this manual. Actual records of Match day attendances will be announced by the PA Announcer, be noted on the Match day Report Form and will be officially recorded by the Club statistician and recorded in future Match Programmes and on the Club’s website.

3.15 Toilets/Washroom Accommodation

Toilets/washroom accommodation is located to the side of the Main stand. Where large crowds are expected the Club will source additional temporary toilet accommodation, which can be sited in and to either end of the goal stands.

Toilets/washrooms are provided with running water to wash hands and provided with a means to dry hands.

3.16 Food and Drink

Hot and cold food and non-alcoholic drinks can be purchased from a catering outlet located inside the Main Gate (see ground plan). These outlets, food hygiene standards and catering staff training and instruction are managed by the Club’s Catering Provider.

From a Match day safety perspective, no glasses, china or glass bottles are used to dispense food or drink and suitable waste bins are located in the vicinity of the catering outlet and at various locations around the Ground.

Alcoholic drinks can be purchased in the licensed bar in the Clubhouse before, during and after the match; however they may not be taken into the Ground itself. Stewards are sited at the entrances near to and from the Clubhouse both before kick-off and at half-time to enforce this Ground Regulation.

For occasional high risk matches likely to attract crowds in excess of 1500, it may be decided (in consultation with the Police Service and Local Authority) that the licensed bar arrangements are changed. This could be by restricting access to home supporters only and/or closing the bar while the match is in progress. Additionally the use of plastic glasses may be implemented.

3.17 First Aid

On current spectator numbers, all first team matches should have at least one qualified first aider present (in addition tothe Club physiotherapist who is also qualified).

First aid equipment is held in the Medical Room behind the Main Stand.

A record of first aid treatment given to spectators must be recorded on the Match day Inspection Report and Accident Report Form at Annex E.

Where further medical assistance is required, the first aider should make arrangements for the injured or ill person to be transported to a local hospital accident and emergency unit (see Annex D) – an ambulance must be called using 999 if the incident is deemed a medical emergency. For less urgent medical assistance, the injured or ill person should be consulted and judgement used to determine whether to call for an ambulance or make other arrangements to get the person to hospital, e.g. by private car or taxi. (Note: For non-emergencies it may be quicker to get the patient to hospital by car).

Where a match is assessed as ‘high risk’ with the likelihood of attracting a crowd in excess of 1500, arrangements will be made for dedicated professional first aid support to be available at the Control Point. Consideration may be given to the provision of an ambulance and suitably trained staff on site where a crowd approaching capacity attendance is anticipated.

As a minimum, the Ground’s emergency access routes are to be maintained available for use and free from obstruction from one hour prior to kick off to after the match has finished and all spectators have left the Ground.

3.18 Lost Property

Any lost property handed in should be logged at the Control Point using the Lost Property Form (see Annex F). It will then be safely retained in order that the rightful owner may reclaim it provided they can describe the item unseen to the Club’s satisfaction.

Items of lost property such as wallets and purses, handbags and luggage may be searched in an attempt to find some identifying information. This must always be done in the presence of at least two Club officials. Any cash must be counted and the amount logged, along with a list of credit/debit cards.

If considered appropriate, the Ground’s PA system may be used to announce a brief description of the lost property item that falls some way short of the information required to reclaim the item. The claimant should be asked to report to the Control Point to properly describe, identify and collect their lost property.

Claimants must give their name and contact details when signing for reclaimed lost property that has significant material value.

If the item is perishable or unhygienic and of no significant material value, it may be disposed of if it remains unclaimed beyond one hour after the match has ended.

If the item is non-perishable (such as bags, clothing or toys) or of potential significant material value (such as cameras, jewellery, phones, wallets or handbags), it will be retained for up to three months. Valuable items may be secured in the Club’s safe.

If unclaimed after three months, any valuable items will be donated to a local charity shop of the Club’s choice and cash donated to a charity of the Club’s choice. Transfer to a Charity will be recorded.

3.19 Accidents and Incidents

All Match day related accidents or incidents will be recorded and appropriately investigated by the Safety Officer, so that lessons may be learned and health and safety arrangements reviewed and improved as appropriate. An Accident Report Form is at Annex E.

Match day staff are advised to also inform the Safety Officer of any hazardous situations or near misses (i.e. no injury incident by luck alone) so that an appropriate investigation and improvement opportunity may be gained.

3.20 Child Protection

The Club actively promotes the attendance of younger supporters and recognises that this comes with responsibilities. The Club has a reasonable expectation that young persons under 12 years of age (pre-senior school age) are accompanied by a responsible adult inside the Ground.


The Club recognises that toilets/washrooms are a particular danger area for younger spectators – the signs for Stewards and Club officials to watch out for are:

• a young child going to toilets/washrooms unescorted

• an adult, who does not seem to have a connection with a child, going to the toilets/washrooms on several occasions right behind that child

• a unescorted child not using the correct toilets/washrooms (male\female)

• an upset child after visiting the toilets/washrooms

If a Steward or Club official becomes suspicious of an adult they should make an excuse to go to the toilets/washrooms themselves to keep an eye on the situation. Any suspicions should be passed to the Safety Officer, Senior Steward or another Club official so appropriate action may be taken.
Child running free

If a child appears to be in some distress, a Steward of Club official should approach them, try to find out what is wrong and escort them to the Control Point. If necessary obtain the assistance of another Steward or a female Club official/spectator.

If a child climbs or stands inappropriately on equipment, chairs, barriers or fences, they should be politely asked to get down and have the reason explained to them. Stewards or Club officials should never place a hand on them or shout at them so they cannot be startled or scared, which could cause them to fall and injure themselves.

Any child playing or misbehaving (such that they are endangering their own safety, or the safety of others, or being a nuisance to other spectators) should be asked to go back to their responsible adult in attendance. If necessary the responsible adult should be asked to keep the child closely supervised while in the Ground.

If a child appears to be on his/her own (i.e. with no adult supervision) and is causing problems, they should be politely asked to behave themselves (do not behave threateningly or aggressively, and refrain from the use of any language that could be perceived to be foul or abusive). A Steward should be sited to keep watch of the situation, which will usually be sufficient deterrent to stop any problem behaviour. If they persist and are at least 12 years of age they may be asked to leave the Ground and should be escorted to the nearest exit by a group, including a senior Club official. If they are under 12 years old, attempts should be made to find out their name and contact a parent or guardian, particularly in hours of darkness. Children must not, under any circumstances, be manhandled; they will usually go quietly if escorted by a group of adults. The assistance of a female Club official or spectator may help.

In cases where the child turns violent towards a Steward or Club official, the adult may use reasonable non-aggressive actions to protect themself prior to a decision being made as to next steps. Stewards and Club officials must never let themselves be alone when dealing with an unruly child or when escorting a child from the ground.

Any incident must be recorded on the Match day Report Form and highlighted as child related. Where deemed appropriate a written record of the incident will be produced subsequent to the end of the match. The Club’s Senior Officials must be made aware of the situation and can be requested to assist if inside the Ground at the time of the incident.

Lost Child

If a Steward or Club official is approached by a child because they are lost, they must take them to the Control Point immediately. An announcement will be made over the PA system to try to reunite them with their parent/guardian. A Club official may remind the parent/guardian of the dangers of letting young children run around unsupervised.

If a Steward or Club official is approached by a parent/guardian advising that they have lost their child, they should be directed to the Control Point. The Safety Officer or a Club official must be alerted immediately and a search party may be organised. If necessary a PA announcement may be made and the Police may be called for assistance.

Push Chairs and Prams

Push chairs and prams may be used in the Ground. When not in use and folded, Stewards may be able to store them for later collection; however the owner must be advised that they are left in storage at the owner’s risk.


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