Special Reports: Stadium Management Systems Ltd

April 17, 2013

Despite the increasing value of broadcasting rights and other commercial income, many football clubs (and many other sporting organisations) are still losing money.

Having failed to achieve financial stability by increasing revenues, football has now adopted various “Financial Fair Play” (FFP) regulations in an attempt to curb soaring payroll costs. The proposed penalties for falling foul of the FFP regulations are very significant including points deductions and disqualification from lucrative competitions. Such substantial penalties will be unacceptable to owners and fans alike so club management will have to examine their cost bases to ensure that their operations are efficient and waste is eliminated.

After player costs, the biggest costs at a club are match day and stadium operating costs and the drive is on to reduce them, but how can club owners and managers reassure themselves that whilst reducing costs their operations are still safe and legally compliant?

The guys at Stadium Management Systems Ltd have set about helping clubs to solve this problem. Having worked for many years for The FA and at Wembley Stadium, Michael Cunnah and Noel Jeffs have got together with Mark Jakes, a leading software developer, to create the world’s first comprehensive integrated stadium management information system.

NoelJeffs_SMsNoel Jeffs has designed the software to be relevant and invaluable to every stadium operator. He says “In my experience as a Stadium Director, it is a real challenge to keep abreast of the huge volume of legislation and regulation that relates to stadium operations. Now within Stadium Manager software it is all accessible electronically and specific topics can be more easily accessed by removing the need to wade through pages and pages of legal documents.

Stadium Manager (SM) software is being launched to support stadium managers and owners by providing the facility to model and plan events. By turning their experience into a template for best practice, SMS Ltd has created a product which does away with the current paper based working practices. In short they have brought stadium management into the 21st century.

Cunnah_SMSMichael Cunnah says “I believe that the transparency that Stadium Manager brings to stadium operations will help everyone involved to see issues more clearly and to make the right decisions regarding costs and safety. It is hard to see how everyone has operated so far without such a facility.”

How does it work? SM software utilises a venue’s plans/layout to develop event plans. Using drag and drop functionality, all roles, fixed assets, furniture and equipment are placed into their ‘event’ positions. The completion of pre, during and post event checks and workflows and personnel attendances are recorded to provide real time status reports on event readiness and regulatory compliance.


Safety compliance is monitored through an easy to follow red / amber / green traffic light dashboard system. So, if an employee is qualified for the role to which he/she is assigned to, the relevant dashboard will turn from red to green. Similarly, the dashboard for a physical asset will turn green from red once it is evidenced as checked and deemed to be fit for use during the upcoming event. The individual dashboards are then aggregated to show overall readiness for the event.

A unique feature of the software is its ability to simulate the movement of staff over the whole time period of an event day i.e. pre event briefings, turnstiles open, first half, half time, full time etc. and more importantly, for the implementation of contingency and emergency plans.

Using SM software club owners and managers will easily be able to ascertain how compliant their operation is for each event by checking the dashboards. Where there is red, it is easy to drill down to ascertain which issues need to be resolved.

Because of the quality and high level of detail provided by SM software it is an exceptionally useful tool for table top training exercises. Being very visual and simple to manage it can be used to train managers in preparation for match days. It is simple to demonstrate to stewards and other employees where they are required to be at which times and for what purposes during the event.

For new stadia SM software can be used at a very early stage of a project to optimise the design to provide operational efficiency and eliminate unnecessary costs. SM software affords the opportunity to start the way you mean to go on i.e. by having cost effective and compliant stadium operations from the very first event and for the whole life of the stadium.

In bringing his experience from other industries to the stadium sector Mark Jakes thinks that  “SM software is a powerful tool that really assists stadium managers to properly and professionally plan their events and owners will be much more easily able to reassure themselves that their events are well managed, safe and cost effective.”

For more information go to stadiummanagementsystems.com or call Michael on +44 (0)7970237085.