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Injuries at football grounds 2019/20

football grounds
Published: August 2020

This report details the injuries that occurred at football grounds for the 2019/20 season, and which were reported to the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) by the 92 football grounds in England and Wales then subject to SGSA licensing.

NatCen worked in partnership with SGSA for a second season to provide data collation, analysis and commentary on spectator injury statistics for the 2019/20 season.

Findings

In the first six months of the 2019/20 season:

  • 21,479,064 spectators attended matches in the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two.
  • 1,215 spectators were treated for eligible injuries. This equates to one injury per 17,678 spectators and to 5.7 injuries per 100,000 spectators.
  • 80 spectators were taken to hospital.
  • Slips, trips and falls were the cause of 34% of all recorded injuries – the highest ‘known’ category.
  • Cut/laceration was the most common type of recorded injury across all leagues, rating 24% overall.

Methodology

At the mid-point and end of each season, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority asks all football grounds in England and Wales, subject to its licensing, to provide details of the number of staff and spectators treated for injuries at their grounds during that season. Data is requested from all Premier League and Football League clubs plus Wembley and the Principality Stadium and includes all competitive league and cup games.

Injury data is then sent to NatCen Social Research for analysis and commentary.

To aid administration, this injury data request forms part of the SGSA licence application process for the next season and helps inform SGSA regulatory activity under the Football Spectators Act 1989. The injury data request, however, is not a formal or statutory requirement.

The figures for the 2019/20 season cover the first six months of the season to 31 January 2020 only, because from mid-March 2020 onwards the season was played without spectators present in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figures are based on injury data returns from all 92 of the grounds in England and Wales subject to SGSA licensing, and complete actual attendance figures from 90 of those grounds.

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