Bolton Safety Advisory Group: Statement on the University of Bolton Stadium

The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) met this morning to discuss concerns about the ability of Bolton Wanderer’s Football Club to meet the requirements of the general safety certificate for the University of Bolton Stadium.

SAG is a multi-agency panel made up of Bolton Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service and St John’s Ambulance.

The meeting was called amid concerns that the club may not be able to provide sufficient stewards or medical and emergency response cover for upcoming home fixtures.

Following the meeting, SAG members were not satisfied that the club is able to meet the required legal safety standards.

SAG has agreed to give club until 1pm tomorrow to provide adequate reassurances, otherwise Bolton Council will be legally forced to issue a prohibition notice.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said:

“The club has recently been unable to demonstrate it can meet the legal conditions of the ground’s safety certificate.

“After consultation with all members of the SAG, the council has taken the decision to give the club 24 hours to address all safety concerns, otherwise we will reluctantly issue a prohibition notice.

“We understand some fans may be alarmed by this news, but the council is bound by legal process and we are not prepared to risk public safety by allowing any event to go ahead without proper resources in place.

“The club has the full support of the council and all the SAG agencies, and we are hopeful a resolution will be found.”

Under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975, local authorities may issue a prohibition notice if they believe a sports ground does not have sufficient measures in place to prevent the serious risk of harm to spectators.