HC Deb 25 February 1987 vol 111 cc261-2W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make a statement on the possibility of the introduction of a national membership card scheme for football supporters, following his meeting with the Football League and the Football Association on 23 February.

Mr. Peter Bruinvels

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will report on the meeting of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) with representatives of the Football League to discuss membership cards; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Tracey

Together with my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office I discussed further initiatives to improve crowd control at football matches with representatives of the Football League, the Football Association and police authorities on 23 February. These discussions produced the following new measuresThe League will ask all clubs to submit detailed local plans for dealing with the management and control of their home and away supporters. These plans will be produced by the end of the current season and will be drawn up in consultation with the local police, local British Transport Police, the local authority, and other relevant organisations such as local coach operators and recognised supporters clubs. The League, with advice and support from the Association of Chief Police Officers, will ask all clubs to develop and introduce membership schemes for specific areas of their grounds by the beginning of the 1987–88 season. The schemes will cover at least 50 per cent. of each ground's capacity as determined by the conditions of the ground's safety certificate. A team of representatives comprising the League, the Football Trust and independent advisors will be available to help and assist those clubs in need of guidance. The Football Association will automatically take account of club's local plans in any disciplinary hearing in the event of crowd disorder or violence. The League, Football Association and the clubs, with advice from the local police, will consider the need for all ticket arrangements at particular matches. The league will commission a study by independent consultants to report on the scope, costs and benefits/disadvantages of a reciprocal membership scheme embracing all 92 League clubs. The Association of Chief Police Officers has agreed to assist with and advise on this study. As agreed, Football Trust grants will be made available to division three and four clubs for the installation of closed circuit television depending on the particular needs of individual clubs. The League and the Football Association will support and promote the development of family enclosures and other initiatives designed to establish closer links between clubs and their communities. This package reflects the determination of the Government, the police and the football authorities to work in partnership to tackle hooliganism in the interests of both public safety and the future wellbeing of the game.