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About Sunderland AFC

Charlton Athletic FC

Formed in 1879, Sunderland AFC has won an accolade of six top division titles, two FA Cup titles and the Community Shield. Currently competing in the top flight Premier League, the club’s home is a 49,000 all-seater stadium – the Stadium of Light. In addition, the stadium is a popular venue for music concerts, live events and corporate entertainment.

Sunderland AFC has a large satellite training facility – the Academy of Light – a state-of-the-art training base for the club’s professional players and Academy counterparts. This purpose built complex has 18 football pitches,  treatment and medical facilities, a restaurant, and classroom space, which is used by its players, coaching staff, administration staff, medical professionals and teachers.

The Challenge

As the Security Manager at Sunderland AFC, Paul Weir is responsible for fulfilling the statutory requirements according to the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. He has overall control of operational safety management issues on event days and responsibility for the safety of spectators at the Stadium of Light at all times.

His role at the stadium covers a wide area from operational planning, fire protection, and crowd management through to event day resourcing. He also has responsibility for site security and physical protection of assets at the stadium and the Academy of Light.

“Safety and security is key to the smooth running of the sites,” says Paul Weir.

So he was looking for a trusted manned guarding company that could offer a tailored solution and that would become a true partner.

“The officers work to a high standard and have a supportive management, so the relationship now feels like we are in partnership with a company
that is committed to us.”

The Solution

The contract was awarded to Axis Security following a competitive tender where it demonstrated an ability to create a bespoke service to meet Sunderland AFC’s precise requirements. Paul Weir commented, “When it came to Axis’ tender, it was the one that impressed us most.”

Axis Security is managing a team of 10 security officers securing the Stadium of Light and the Academy of Light. The officers’ main responsibilities include control of the entrance and exits, CCTV monitoring, regular site patrols, and responsibility for the fire alarm control panel and response. They also fulfil the reception duties at the stadium, meeting and greeting corporate visitors, managers and club staff, meaning that excellent presentation and customer service is vital.

“The officers work to a high standard and have a supportive management,” continues Paul. “So the relationship now feels like we are in partnership with a company that is committed to us.”

Commenting on the contract, Jonathan Levine, Axis Group CEO says he is pleased to be working with such a prestigious name: “We are pleased to be building trust and extending our employee benefits package to the dedicated team of officers working on site,” he says.

“It is a busy and challenging site where security and safety are of the utmost importance, and Paul and his team can trust us to deliver a service that is genuinely ‘best in class’.”