The primary purpose of the licensing scheme is to enforce the Government’s policy that all clubs in the FA Premier League and Football League Championship plus Wembley and the Principality Stadium must have all-seated stadia and that any standing accommodation in Football Leagues 1 and 2 is of the prescribed standard.

The annual licence issued to each club specifies the areas of the ground to which spectators may be admitted. Under the provisions of the 1989 Act it is an offence to admit spectators to any of the above grounds, or parts of those grounds, which are not licensed. Conditions in the licence do not apply to other (non-football) events taking place at those grounds. Club’s promoted into the Football League Championship for the first time are allowed up to 3 years to convert the ground to all seated accommodation.

If a club is promoted to the Championship and is subsequently relegated at the end of the season the club will have two years from the date of its next promotion to the Championship in which to meet the all seated requirement in its stadium. In other words if a club is relegated the “all seated” clock is not turned back, it merely stops ticking. Clubs promoted into the Football League for the first time have a maximum of 3 years to bring their terracing up to the prescribed standard.