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Football Spectators Act 1989

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10 Licences to admit spectators: general.E+W

(1)The licensing authority may, on an application duly made by a responsible person, grant a licence to admit spectators to any premises for the purpose of watching any designated football match played at those premises.

(2)An application for a licence in respect of any premises shall be made in such manner, in such form and accompanied by such fee as may be determined by the Secretary of State.

(3)The licensing authority shall not refuse to grant a licence without—

(a)notifying the applicant in writing of the proposed refusal and of the grounds for it;

(b)giving him an opportunity to make representations about them within the period of twenty-eight days beginning with the service of the notice; and

(c)taking any representations so made into account in making its decision.

(4)A licence to admit spectators to any premises may authorise the admission of spectators to watch all designated football matches or specified descriptions of designated football matches or a particular such match.

(5)A licence to admit spectators shall be in writing and shall be granted on such terms and conditions as the licensing authority considers appropriate and, if the Secretary of State gives to the licensing authority a direction under section 11 below, the conditions may include conditions imposing requirements as respects the seating of spectators.

(6)A licence to admit spectators may also include conditions requiring specified descriptions of spectators to be refused admittance to the premises to watch designated football matches or specified descriptions of designated football matches or a particular such match.

(7)Where a designation order includes the provision authorised by section 1(4)(b) above as respects the admission of spectators to any ground as authorised spectators, the licensing authority may, by notice in writing to the licence holder, direct that, for the purposes of any match or description of match specified in the direction, the licence shall be treated as including such specified terms and conditions as respects the admission of spectators as authorised spectators as the licensing authority considers appropriate; and the licence shall have effect, for that purpose, subject to those terms and conditions.

(8)It shall be a condition of every licence that any authorised person shall be entitled, on production, if so required, of his authority—

(a)to enter at any reasonable time any premises on which a designated football match is being or is to be played;

(b)to make such inspection of the premises and such inquiries relating to them as he considers necessary for the purposes of this Part of this Act; or

(c)to examine any records relating to the operation of the national football membership scheme on the premises, and take copies of such records.

(9)A licence to admit spectators shall, unless revoked or suspended under section 12 below or surrendered, remain in force for a specified period.

(10)Subject to subsection (11) below, the licensing authority may at any time, by notice in writing to the licence holder, vary the terms and conditions of the licence.

(11)The licensing authority shall not vary the terms or conditions of a licence without—

(a)notifying the licence holder in writing of the proposed alterations or additions;

(b)giving him an opportunity to make representations about them within the period of twenty-one days beginning with the service of the notice; and

(c)taking any representations so made into account in making the decision.

(12)In taking any decision under this section the licensing authority shall have regard, among the other relevant circumstances, to the following matters or to such of them as are applicable to the decision, that is to say—

(a)whether the premises and the equipment provided and procedures used at the premises are such as to secure that, except (in the case of the procedures) in an emergency, only authorised spectators are admitted to designated football matches;

(b)whether and to what extent the requirements imposed for that purpose by the national football membership scheme on responsible persons have been complied with;

(c)whether the equipment provided, procedures used and other arrangements in force at the premises are such as are reasonably required to prevent the commission or minimise the effects of offences at designated football matches; and

(d)such other considerations as the Secretary of State determines from time to time and notifies to the licensing authority.

(13)Subject to subsection (14) below, if any term or condition of a licence is contravened any responsible person commits an offence.

(14)Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (13) above it shall be a defence to prove—

(a)that the contravention took place without his consent; and

(b)that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence.

(15)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (13) above shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(16)The fees charged on the issue of licences—

(a)may be fixed so as to reimburse the licensing authority their expenses under this Part of this Act; and

(b)shall be paid by the licensing authority to the Secretary of State.

(17)In this section—

  • authorised person” means any person authorised by the Secretary of State, the licensing authority or the Football Membership Authority;

  • specified” means specified in the licence or in the case of subsection (7) in the direction; and

  • vary”, in relation to a licence, includes the addition of further terms or conditions.

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