Part 1 - Ground Capacity and Seating
1.1 Subject to paragraph 1.4 below, the ground capacity and number of seats under cover, as recorded in the safety certificate, must meet the following minimum criteria:
Qualification Criteria 4,000 (with ability to reach 5,000) 500 (with ability to reach 1,000)
Admission Criteria 5,000 1,000 (with ability to reach 2,000)
Membership Criteria 5,000 2,000
1.2 A new member club entering League 2 must comply with the Qualification Criteria and has until the 30th April in its first Season as a Member to meet the Admission Criteria set out in the above table.
1.3 Where such Club remains a Member of The League that Club shall have until 1st May in the third Season from the date of its admission to comply with the requirement to achieve a capacity in accordance with the Membership Criteria.
1.4 Each Championship Club shall, with effect from the start of its fourth Season in the Championship) only admit spectators to seated accommodation, and there shall be no standing terraces.
Part 2 - Floodlighting
1.1 The average lux value of the floodlights, obtained from 88 readings taken on the grid system provided by The League, must meet the following minimum criteria for each division:
Average Lux Value Minimum at any one point
Championship 800 500
League 1 500 300
League 2 500 300
1.2 In order to assess the lux value, a series of 88 readings must be taken with a light meter on a grid pattern set out on the pitch at approximately 10 metres apart. The light meter must be placed on a horizontal plane at pitch level and the average of all the readings is taken to be the average lux value of the floodlights.
1.3 The readings must be carried out by a qualified neutral surveyor, a manufacturer or by local electricity boards. The League shall require a test certificate and chart to be submitted every two years. Any Club which fails to deliver a test certificate as required shall be guilty of misconduct. In addition to any penalties imposed, The League may arrange to have an inspection carried out and the cost of the inspection shall be borne by the Club.
1.4 Clubs promoted into The Championship shall have until the 31st May in the first season from the date of promotion to meet the minimum floodlighting requirements for The Championship Clubs.
1.5 Clubs in League 1 and 2 must currently comply with the minimum floodlighting requirements for these divisions.
1.6 A new member club entering League 2 must comply with the National League Average Lux Value and has until the 30th April in its first Season as a Member Club to meet The League 2 Average and Minimum Lux Value (which, for the purposes of Regulation 8, shall be deemed to be the Admission Criteria regarding floodlighting).
Part 3 - The Football Club and the ground on which it plays
1 Safety Certificate
1.1 Subject to paragraph 1.2, each Club shall hold a current safety certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975.
1.2 If a Club has a ground-sharing agreement it shall be a term thereof that either the Club or the other party to the agreement shall hold a current safety certificate.
2 Ground Maintenance
2.1 The Club is to be responsible for the maintenance of the pitch and for the general maintenance of the ground, including (but not limited to) ground safety. The Club must ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to maintain its pitch in good order, as required under Regulation 13.
3 Club Staff
3.1 The Club must have specific personnel (i.e. Club Doctor, Physiotherapist) as required by League Regulations and a full-time administration.
4.1 The Club must have a CCTV surveillance system in accordance with the requirements of the local safety committee and maintain the same in good condition.
5 External Boundary Wall
5.1 The external boundary wall to be of sound construction, secure on all sides and sufficient to deter would-be intruders. The minimum height must be 2.2 metres.
6.1 All terracing must conform with the requirements of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds. The Local Authority, in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Fifth Edition), will be asked to independently assess terrace capacities. Any level surfaces within the ground must be hard standing and spectator-standing areas behind the goals must be terraced.
7.1 Seats should be individual seats with tip up bottoms and include backrests. Alternatively, other than the Directors Box, the seats can be of the plastic moulded type complete with back rests or other types of seats provided they have back rests.
8.1 These must be of the automatic revolving type fitted with counting facilities and a computerised turnstile monitoring system.
9 First Aid Facilities
9.1 There must be a designated First Aid Room fitted out with services in accordance with the requirements of the local authority, in accordance with the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.
10 Ground Refreshment Facilities
10.1 Refreshment facilities must be available for spectators in each separate area of the ground. There must be a refreshment room or access to a lounge area available for players.
11.1 There must be adequate toilet facilities for both men and women (of all ages) in each separate area of the ground. There must be at least one washbasin in each toilet facility. Those areas of the ground providing disabled facilities in accordance with paragraph 15 below must also provide appropriate disabled toilet facilities.
12 Public Address System
12.1 There must be a public address system installed, with adequate speaker output to relay information to all spectator areas, as required by the local authority, with the ability to interrupt for safety announcements from the stadium control room.
13 Emergency Lighting
13.1 There must be an emergency lighting system for all spectator areas and concourses, as required by the local authority.
14 Ground Control Room
14.1 The Club must provide a stadium control room, in accordance with the requirements of the local authority. This should be included in the planning details submitted to The League.
15 Disabled Facilities
15.1 Clubs must provide facilities for the accommodation of disabled supporters to meet the legal requirements imposed by the Equality Act 2010 (and any statutory modification thereof and subordinate legislation, regulations or guidelines having statutory force).
16 Pitch Perimeter Protection
16.1 There must be appropriate pitch perimeter protection, for example wall / barrier surrounding the pitch, to be of sound construction and to comply with current standards as laid down in the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.
17.1 All Stewards working at matches played under the auspices of The League shall undergo a programme of training in relation to stewarding at football grounds as approved in writing by The League.
18 Directors’ Box
18.1 The directors’ box should enjoy a prime position in the main stand. There should be individual seats in a designated area and Home and Away areas should be clearly marked. The standard of accommodation for Home and Away directors shall be comparable.
(a) Home Minimum number of seats 24
(b) Away Minimum number of seats 16
The Home Club shall supply to the Away Club such numbers of Away Director’s Box seats as the Away Club requests, the first 16 directors’ box tickets to be supplied to the Away Club free of charge.
18.2 There must be a guest room for entertaining Home and Away Directors with appropriate subsistence / refreshments provided.
19 Dressing Rooms
19.1 The provisions of this paragraph 19 shall apply unless any Club has been granted a dispensation by the Board. Any Club wishing to apply for a dispensation must have applied no later than 31st January 2014 (or, in the case of a Club promoted from the National League, at the same time as their application for promotion in accordance with Regulation 10.1.3) setting out the grounds on which it seeks a dispensation. Applications shall be determined by the Board in its absolute discretion. Save in the case of the most exceptional circumstances (again as determined by the Board in its absolute discretion) dispensations can only be granted for a maximum period of five years. An application may be refused, granted or granted subject to such conditions as the Board may determine (including having such amounts as the Board shall determine withheld from the Club’s central distributions from the Pool Account).
19.2 Players – separate dressing rooms must be provided for the teams. The minimum size for each changing room is 30sq. metres and each dressing room must have either:
(a) a shower area comprising at least 6 shower units; or
(b) 6 separate baths.
19.3 Each room must also be equipped with at least:
(a) 2 urinals;
(b) 2 WC’s;
(c) 2 washbasins,
or more if required by the responsible Health and Safety authority.
19.4 Each room must also be equipped with at least:
(a) 1 massage table;
(b) 1 fridge; and
(c) 1 tactical board.
19.5 Match Officials -the dressing room for match officials must have a changing area of at least 10 sq. metres and at least two showers. There must be one WC and one washbasin available for the exclusive use of the match officials.
19.6 All dressing rooms must be heated, well ventilated, have non slip floors, be free from damp and secure.
20 Medical Treatment Room
20.1 There must be a suitably equipped medical treatment room in the vicinity of the players’ dressing rooms.
21 Press Facilities
21.1 The minimum number of seats (all with desktops), and power points, shall be:
Seats with Desktops Power Points
Championship 40 40
League 1 20 10
League 2 20 10
21.2 At each First Team match all accredited media representatives (including, by way of example only, journalists, broadcasters and photographers accredited either by The League or Football Data Co Limited) shall be provided with:
(a) a printed team sheet; and
(b) a match programme,
in each case free of charge.
21.3 The nominated press officer(s) of the Away Club shall, in addition to the items specified in paragraph 21.2 above, receive appropriate access to those facilities at the Home Club as are necessary to fulfil their duties for the Away Club but to include, as a minimum, all media areas, the Away Club’s dressing room and the tunnel area.
21.4 Clubs must provide either:
(a) a wireless access point accessible to all accredited media representatives attending the match; or
(b) a reasonable number of telephone lines available to accredited media representatives to meet demand.
21.5 ISDN Lines. Each club should provide a level of access to ISDN lines to enable it to satisfactorily accommodate requests from The League’s primary broadcasting partners, Independent Local Radio Stations (home and away) and club webmasters (home and away). This may involve the sharing of lines where appropriate. Access to ISDN Lines may be at no cost to the end user, through a hire charge (either from the club or a third party provider) or by the club providing broadcasters the opportunity to install their own facility. The provision of the above ISDN lines is in addition to those already installed by the BBC for their own use. Broadcasters must be provided suitable commentary positions in the immediate vicinity of the relevant ISDN line.
21.6 Media Room. Championship clubs must provide a dedicated room for post-match press arrangements. League 1 and League 2 clubs should provide a similar room or a dedicated area, which is under cover, where the post-match press conference/interviews can be conducted.
22 Directors’ Room
22.1 There must be a directors’ room capable of accommodating a minimum of 18 people for the use of home and visiting directors and there must be adjacent toilet facilities.
23 Parking Facilities
23.1 Parking facilities must be provided for directors, with a minimum of 6 places for the visiting directors and club officials in a location comparable to those provided to Home directors. There must be safe parking arrangements for both the visiting team's coach and the Match Officials. All shall be provided free of charge.
24 Playing Area
24.1 The dimensions of the field of play must be in accordance with League Regulations.
24.2 The shortest distance between touch-line and pitch perimeter barrier to be ideally 2.75 metres, but no less than 2.25 metres.
24.3 The shortest distance between goal line and pitch perimeter barrier to be ideally 2.75 metres, but no less than 2.25 metres.
25 Goal Posts
25.1 Goal posts and goal net supports to be of professional manufacture and to meet the requirements of the Laws of the Game.
25.2 The Home Club shall provide and maintain at its ground a replacement set of Goal Posts and goal net supports (i.e. one replacement goal) which are of professional manufacture, meet the requirements of the Laws of the Game, and are capable of being erected immediately in the event of the failure of the Goal Posts already installed.
25.3 Two sets of portable goals shall be provided for the purposes of player warm ups.
26 Trainers’ Benches/Boxes
26.1 Trainers' Benches/boxes to be provided (and clearly separated) marked HOME and AWAY in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 34.1. The technical area, as defined in Law 3 of the Laws of the Game must be clearly marked.
27 Playing Surface Standard / Slope of Pitch
27.1 The playing surface shall be grass and must be of a high standard, as defined by The League.
27.2 It must be flat and free from surface depressions and excessive undulations.
27.3 The maximum slopes allowable shall not exceed an even gradient of vertical to horizontal 1:41 in any direction.
27.4 Each Home Club shall provide full pitch frost covers and/or under soil heating (the specification of which shall meet the reasonable satisfaction of The League) which shall be operated to the extent necessary to procure, so far as it is reasonably possible, that the pitch is playable on the occasion of each match. A breach of this requirement which results in the postponement or abandonment of a match shall be dealt with in accordance with Regulation 31, and not Regulation 8.4.
28 Pitch Protection
28.1 In order to protect the pitch, unless otherwise mutually agreed between both participating Clubs, the following procedures shall be adopted by Players and Officials in the periods immediately before and after a Match and at half time:
(a) the pitch shall only be used for warming up or warming down by Players named on the Team Sheet;
(b) pre-match warming up by either team shall not commence until 45 minutes before the kick-off time at the earliest, shall not last for more than 30 minutes, and shall end no later than 10 minutes before the kick-off time;
(c) if portable goals are provided they shall be used for all goalkeeping drills other than crossing practice;
(d) the goalmouth area shall be used by goalkeepers only if portable goals are not provided or for crossing practice and then only for not more than 20 minutes;
(e) for the purposes of warming up and warming down each team shall use only part of the pitch between the edge of a penalty area and the half way line or as otherwise directed by the groundsman;
(f) all speed and stamina work shall be undertaken off the pitch parallel to the touchline opposite the side to be patrolled by the assistant referee or, in the absence of sufficient space, in that part of the pitch described in paragraph (e) above or as otherwise directed by the groundsman;
(g) Players using the pitch at half time as aforesaid shall give due consideration to any other activity or entertainment taking place on the pitch at the same time;
(h) the Home Club may water the pitch at half time provided that it gives reasonable notice to the referee and the other Club that it intends to do so and that any such watering is carried out evenly over the entire length and width of the pitch;
(i) any warming down after the conclusion of the Match shall last for no longer than 15 minutes and for that purpose neither penalty area shall be used.
29 Premier League Ground Criteria –Championship Clubs only
29.1 Each Championship Club shall by no later than 31st January in each year submit to the board of the Premier League for its approval (not to be unreasonably withheld) fully detailed and costed proposals setting out how, if it is promoted to the Premier League at the end of that Season, it will be able to meet the following requirements of Premier League rules by the following dates:
Premier League rule Description (for illustrative purposes only; please refer to the relevant Premier League rules for their full terms and effect). Date
K.11 Players’ dressing rooms to have an area of at least 30 square metres On promotion
K.13 - K14 Security of Players, directors and officials of a visiting Club and of match officials On promotion
K.22 Provide and Maintain Undersoil heating On Promotion
K.25 – K.27 Goal Line Technology On Promotion
K.45 – K.49 Internet connectivity On promotion
K.50 – K.52 TV gantry On promotion
K.53 – K.54 UK TV commentary positions On promotion
K.55 – K.56 Overseas TV commentary positions On promotion
K.57 Radio commentary positions On promotion
K.58 – K.61 Camera and interview positions On promotion
K.66 TV Studios On promotion
K.67 – K.69 Media seats On promotion
K.71 – K.72 Mixed Zone On promotion
K.75 - K76, Hardwiring & cabling On promotion
K.78 – K.79 Power Supply On promotion
K.80 – K.83 TV compound and car parking spaces On promotion
K.86 – K.87 Media working area; conference room; press and data seats On promotion
K.91 Photographers’ access and facilities On promotion
K.128 – K.141 Floodlighting On promotion
Note: the above rule numbers are based on the 2016/17 PL Handbook.
30 Championship Clubs – Goal Line Technology
30.1 Each Championship Club’s ground must have such Goal Line Technology as the League shall specify from time to time.
30.2 Each Championship Club shall:
30.2.1 ensure that the Goal Line Technology installed at its ground is properly maintained in accordance with all applicable requirements insofar as such maintenance is the responsibility of the Club and not the responsibility of any Person appointed by the League pursuant to Paragraph 30.2.2;
30.2.2 give all necessary cooperation to such Person appointed by the League to supply, install, maintain and operate such Goal Line Technology and to any Person properly authorised by the League or FIFA to test or certify the Club’s Goal Line Technology; and
30.2.3 use Goal Line Technology only as specified by the League from time to time.
30.3 For the avoidance of doubt, ownership of the Goal Line Technology installed and operated at each Club, and of all rights arising therefrom or in connection therewith, shall not belong to the Club.
30.4 Each Championship Club shall pay to the League such amounts as are notified by the League for the costs of installation, operation, maintenance and removal (on promotion or relegation) of any Goal Line Technology (on a pro-rata basis across all Championship Clubs). The League shall be entitled to deduct any such costs from any amounts otherwise payable to the Club by way of Basic Award.
31 Protection of Players and Match Officials
31.1 There must be safe unimpeded passage for players and officials between their dressing rooms and the pitch.
32 Ground Regulations
32.1 All Clubs must ensure that ground regulations, as issued by The League from time to time, are displayed prominently at each entrance to the ground used by supporters, as well as at any point of sale for tickets (including online ticket sales).