Football Spectators Act 1989

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1989 c. 37


Football Spectators Act 1989

1989 CHAPTER 37

An Act to control the admission of spectators at designated football matches in England and Wales by means of a national membership scheme and licences to admit spectators; to provide for the safety of spectators at such matches by means of such licences and the conferment of functions on the licensing authority in relation to safety certificates for grounds at which such matches are played; and to provide for the making by courts and the enforcement of orders imposing restrictions on persons convicted of certain offences for the purpose of preventing violence or disorder at or in connection with designated football matches played outside England and Wales.

[16th November 1989]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Football Matches in England and Wales

Part I

Football Matches in England and Wales

Preliminary

Preliminary

S-1 Scope and interpretation of this Part.

1 Scope and interpretation of this Part.

(1) This Part of this Act applies in relation to association football matches played in England and Wales which are designated football matches and the following provisions have effect for its interpretation.

(2) ‘Designated football match’ means any such match of a description for the time being designated for the purposes of this Part by order made by the Secretary of State or a particular such match so designated.

(3) The Secretary of State shall not make a designation under subsection (2) above without giving the Football Membership Authority an opportunity to make representations about the proposed designation, and taking any representations he receives into account.

(4) An order under subsection (2) above—

(a) may designate descriptions of football matches wherever played or when played at descriptions of ground or in any area specified in the order; and

(b) may provide, in relation to the match or description of match designated by the order or any description of match falling within the designation, that spectators admitted to the ground shall be authorised spectators to the extent, and subject to any restrictions or conditions, determined in pursuance of the order by the licensing authority under this Part of this Act.

(5) The ‘national football membership scheme’ (or ‘the scheme’) means the scheme made and approved and for the time being in force under section 4 below for the purpose of restricting the generality of spectators attending designated football matches to persons who are members of the scheme.

(6) A person is, in relation to any designated football match, an ‘authorised spectator’ if—

(a) he is a member of the national football membership scheme or is otherwise authorised by the scheme to attend the match; or

(b) he is an authorised spectator by virtue of subsection (4)(b) above,

and a person is not to be treated as a ‘spectator’ in relation to such a match if the principal purpose of his being on the premises is to provide services in connection with the match or to report on it.

(7) A ‘licence to admit spectators’ is a licence granted in respect of any premises by the licensing authority under this Part of this Act authorising the admission to the premises of spectators for the purpose of watching any designated football match played at those premises.

(8) Each of the following periods is ‘relevant to’ a designated football match, that is to say—

(a) the period beginning—

(i) two hours before the start of the match, or

(ii) two hours before the time at which it is advertised to start, or

(iii) with the time at which spectators are first admitted to the premises,

whichever is the earliest, and ending one hour after the end of the match;

(b) where a match advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day is postponed to a later day, or does not take place, the period in the advertised day beginning two hours before and ending one hour after that time.

(9) A person is a ‘responsible person’ in relation to any designated football match at any premises if he is a person concerned in the management of the premises or in the organisation of the match.

(10) The power to make an order under subsection (2) above is exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(11) The imposition under this Part of this Act of restrictions on the persons who may attend as spectators at any designated football match does not affect any other right of any person to exclude persons from admission to the premises at which the match is played.

National Membership Scheme

National Membership Scheme

S-2 Offences relating to unauthorised attendance at designated football matches.

2 Offences relating to unauthorised attendance at designated football matches.

(1) If a person who is not, in relation to the match, an authorised spectator enters or remains on premises as a spectator during a period relevant to a designated football match that person commits an offence and so does a person who attempts to commit an offence under this subsection of entering premises.

(2) Where a person is charged under subsection (1) above with an offence of entering or remaining on premises, and was at the time of the alleged offence not disqualified from being a member of the national football membership scheme, it shall be a defence to prove that he was allowed to enter the premises as a spectator by a person reasonably appearing to him to have lawful authority to do so.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or to both.

(4) A constable who reasonably suspects that a person has committed an offence under subsection (1) above may arrest him without a warrant.

S-3 The Football Membership Authority.

3 The Football Membership Authority.

(1) There shall be a body responsible for the administration of the national football membership scheme which shall be designated for the purpose by the Secretary of State under the name (and herein referred to as) ‘the Football Membership Authority’.

(2) Subject to subsection (4) below, the Secretary of State may designate as the Football Membership Authority any body corporate formed for the purpose by the Football Association and the Football League or any body corporate formed by any other persons or, for the purpose, on his behalf.

(3) The Secretary of State may withdraw the designation of a body under this section, whether at the instance of the body or at his own instance.

(4) The Secretary of State shall not designate any body corporate as the Football Membership Authority unless he is satisfied that its articles of association make provision securing—

(a) that its Board shall comprise a chairman and six other members, of whom the chairman and four of the other members are persons approved by the Secretary of State before their election as chairman or as member, as the case may be, and the remaining two members are persons nominated by the Secretary of State, and

(b) that the chairman shall be a person who has no such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially the performance of his functions as chairman;

and all the members of the Board shall hold office in accordance with the articles of association of the body corporate.

(5) The Secretary of State may withdraw the designation of a body corporate as the Football Membership Authority if he ceases to be satisfied of the matters mentioned in subsection (4) above.

(6) The functions of a body as the Football Membership Authority shall be assumed or, on withdrawal of its designation, divested on the date specified by the Secretary of State when making or withdrawing the designation but subject to subsection (7) below and without prejudice to its duty under subsection (8) below.

(7) No date other than 1st June in any year shall be specified under subsection (6) above as the date on which functions are to be assumed or divested, but this does not apply—

(a) to the initial designation of a body as the Football Membership Authority, or

(b) where the Secretary of State withdraws the designation of a body on the ground that the body has failed to discharge its duties as the Football Membership Authority or is being wound up or that a receiver or manager of its property has been appointed.

(8) It shall be the duty of the Football Membership Authority to make to the Secretary of State a report on the discharge of its functions during each period of twelve months beginning with 1st June in any year and the Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament.

(9) Where a body assumes or is divested of its functions as the Football Membership Authority on a date other than...

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