0 SGSA seeks commercial imperative in five-year strategy

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) will begin to deliver its own income by commercialising its knowledge share capabilities with other nations and sports

Karen Eyre WhiteThe expert body on ground safety and development this week published its five-year vision which includes five strategic goals: to operate as an effective regulator; provide training to foster an effective safety culture; advise on ground safety design; promote accessibility; and become more financially independent.

While the SGSA currently offers its advice and services for free to all sports and all nations, its 2016-2021 strategy document revealed that it will attempt to generate fees from other nations when providing safety advice or consultation.

The government currently funds the organisation with grants, but as it goes into the next half decade it will make a concerted effort to make a portion of the money it receives itself.

It follows the publication of the government's all-encompassing sports strategy - Sporting Future - which earmarked the SGSA for a "more formal role" in helping sports grounds reach the "required standards for accessibility", and increase its scope to "significantly increase the income it generates".

The SGSA is currently in talks with the government about options for commercialisation and the fees it would be able to charge.

SGSA chief executive Karen Eyre-White said the vision was to become the "world's leading authority on sports ground safety".

"We will do this by sharing our expertise as widely as possible with other sports and countries, continuing our valuable work in football and always putting spectators at the heart of what we do," she added.

Alan Coppin, SGSA chair, added: "Our commitment to our statutory responsibility in football is as strong as ever, and we will continue to work with the football authorities, clubs and local authorities on this important work."

The organisation will also publish the sixth edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (the Green Guide) to "set the standard for safety at sports grounds in England and Wales and beyond".

For the original article, visit www.sportsmanagement.co.uk.

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