The Football Association (FA) is joining forces with the Premier League to launch a new Stadium Accreditation Programme for clubs that play in the National League System.
As part of the new initiative, the Premier League Stadium Fund will begin collecting ground-grading data for The FA at all of the stadiums used within the National League System.
The process will be digitised through the creation of a new digital tool, StadiumPower.
StadiumPower will enable The FA to have a holistic view of the quality of facilities across the game for the first time and will allow it to be better placed to understand some of the challenges that both clubs and leagues face nationwide.
“StadiumPower will provide far greater insight about stadiums which will help ensure the league’s investment is directed where it is needed the most,” the FA said.
“The new digital process will also allow clubs to keep track of the works required to their facility, as well as provide them with a live platform to report on any changes or improvement works that are carried out at their stadium.”
The rollout of the new programme will begin in July with the aim of assessing every stadium across the country by the end of the year. More details on the rollout plan of the new process and when each stadium will be visited will be shared with clubs and leagues over the coming weeks.
Laurence Jones, The FA’s Head of the National League System, said: “Ground grading is an important touch point between clubs, leagues and The FA, and is an area of the National League System that we have been looking to make enhancements on for some time. This project will enable the modernisation of the monitoring and compliance of the ground-grading process and it will provide the opportunity to take a strategic approach to facility development in the NLS.”
Mark Harris, The FA’s Ground Grading sub-committee chair, added: “We thank the Premier League Stadium Fund for taking on the important role of developing and administering the new Stadium Accreditation Programme, and having consulted with and presented to the NLS Leagues, they gave their unanimous support.”
Robert Sullivan, CEO of the Football Foundation that delivers the Premier League Stadium Fund said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the Premier League Stadium Fund, and we are delighted to be working closely with The FA on this project.
“From the research we carried out in 2021, modernising and digitising the ground-grading process was something that was raised regularly by clubs. By assuming responsibility for this work, not only can we ensure that Stadium Accreditation is carried out in an independent and consistent way, but it will also ensure that we are directing the funding where it is needed most.”