CRISIS MANAGEMENTThe Blackburn Rovers Football and Athletic PLCIntroductionThe Blackburn Rovers Football Stadium is in Ewood Park, Nuttal Street, Blackburn. It has three two tier stands (The Darwen End, The Jack Walker, The Blackburn End) and single tier stand named CIS. All three stands have a corporate facilities located in them and a Blues Café Bar located within the Blackburn End stand. It has a retail shop within the stadium complex but separate from the stands. The stadium The Blackburn Rovers Football is an all seater stadium that has a sitting capacity of 31,154.
Matches taking place at this Stadium are mostly football. There were occasional football matches on weekdays but most of the games are scheduled on Saturdays. The stadium’s ticket office is open typically on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and 9:00 am on match day or Saturday. Legislative ControlsA sports ground is any place where sports or other competitive activities take place in the open air, and where accommodation has been provided for spectators, consisting of artificial structures or of natural structures artificially modified for the purpose.
Because of the Ibrox Park disaster, the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975 was passed. The Act requires all designate sports grounds with a capacity of over 10,000 people to be issued with safety certificates by the local authority. Provisions contained in the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sports Act 1987 considerably extended the Act. The Guide to Safety at Sports Ground or the ‘Green Guide’ issued jointly by the Home Office and the Scottish Home Office and Health Department advices this type of facilities on the construction and layout of grounds, including details of access and egress and ground capacity estimation, terracing, barriers, stands, etc.
It is the duty of every local authority to enforce the Act and its regulations, and arrange for periodic inspection of designated sports grounds. Management of sports grounds must notify the local authority in advance any alteration to a sports ground that may affect safety (Clay and Bassett 1999, p. 261). Crisis Plan In 1989, ninety-six people were crushed to death at a football match in Hillsborough because of overcrowding and police failure to control the crowd (Moore and Lakha 2006, p. 464). Crisis or emergency planning is undertaken at a point where it should be possible to assume that all proper measures have been taken to prevent and protect against hazards.
The objectives of an emergency plan are to provide guidelines for purposeful action towards dealing efficiently with a facility emergency, ensuring the preparedness of all those involved, coordinating and developing cooperation with authorities and other emergency services, keeping employees, the community and the media informed (Kenneth 1996, p. 64). The Crisis Plan for Blackburn Rovers Football and Athletic PLC was created primarily to comply with requirements set by the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975 and adhere to the Safety at Sports Grounds or ‘Green Guide’.
The plan is the Club’s response to the foreseeable emergencies and will be use a starting point to respond to evolving emergencies. The plan covered minor and major emergencies such as emergency evacuation, bomb threat, response to fire calls, gas leak or failure, electrical supply failure, responses and evacuation procedures for postponed match and delayed kick-off (BRFAP 2006, p. 1-14).
The common mistake that many sport and recreation practitioners make is thinking that they will know exactly what to do when an emergency occurs (Spengler et. al. 2006, p. 12). Athletic PLC acknowledge the fact that emergencies are hard to predict and it is not always possible to programme the exact responses needed to “ever-changing set of circumstances” BRFAP (2006, p. 1). The club therefore identified potential emergencies and set an initial response to them, taking into account the roles of emergency services and other relevant agencies.