POLL: Safe standing fight to go to parliament

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: POLL: Safe standing fight to go to parliament POLL: Safe standing fight to go to parliament

THE fight for safe standing at Football League grounds will now be taken to parliament after the scheme was supported by the majority of league clubs.

Currently, standing areas are permitted in both League One and League Two but any team promoted to the Championship must convert any standing areas to seating by the end of their third season in the second tier.

A meeting held at Derby’s Pride Park stadium on Thursday saw the Football League clubs presented with the findings of a consultation which asked four main questions relating to the regulations regarding Championship clubs and the licensing of rail seating for Football League grounds. The innovative rail seats offer a designated spot for each supporter in a standing area, with an iron rail to lean on, which can easily be switched into a seating area if required.

The majority of clubs answered positively to all four questions, meaning the battle for safe standing will now be taken to parliament.

Swindon Town have previously backed the Football Supporters’ Federation’s ‘Safe Standing’ campaign after a poll conducted by fan site The Washbag revealed 87 per cent of Robins fans would welcome the initiative, but yesterday chose not to reveal whether or not they supported the move to lobby parliament. The club also chose not to comment on the latest development when offered the opportunity by the Advertiser yesterday.

The Advertiser understands the club would consider a safe standing area in any new stand built at the County Ground but would not be keen on switching any part of the current ground to standing due to the fact the current facilities would be unable to cope with the increased capacity.

Roger Bunce, chairman of the Swindon Town Supporters Club, has watched his side play from terraces in this country and also in Germany where large standing areas are common at top flight, leading him to believe safe standing would be worth trying in English football.

“I’m 67 now but when I used to stand in the Town End when I was 17 there was an atmosphere there we haven’t had since,” he said. “It would be great to have that back.

“I’ve been to watch a few games at Werder Bremen and they have the standing there and it’s always a good atmosphere.

“Eventually some idiots would decide it’s a good idea to move around and there’s always that fear.

“The Town End would be the place it has to be if it did happen and it would be interesting to try it out.”

Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson is happy the issue will now be discussed in parliament but still has concerns regarding the reintroduction of terracing throughout English football.

“I know I’m in a minority but I’m not 100 per cent convinced by this because the safety and family friendly nature has been transformed and I do worry a move back to standing will damage that,” he said.

“Lots of football fans feel very passionately about this and are lobbying very hard but I think the government needs to look very closely at the evidence here.

“As a football community we have to look at this and I’m glad it is coming to parliament because it is a big issue.”

Comments (3)

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10:33am Sat 8 Feb 14

Davidsyrett says...

"would not be keen on switching any part of the current ground to standing due to the fact the current facilities would be unable to cope with the increased capacity."

What does that mean? that we cannot cope with larger attendances? Not exactly the words of an ambitious club looking to be in the Championship. Surely anything that brought in extra fans would be a great asset,

My guess is that also means no attempt to put a roof over SB as that would be the obvious place to put the standing area.
"would not be keen on switching any part of the current ground to standing due to the fact the current facilities would be unable to cope with the increased capacity." What does that mean? that we cannot cope with larger attendances? Not exactly the words of an ambitious club looking to be in the Championship. Surely anything that brought in extra fans would be a great asset, My guess is that also means no attempt to put a roof over SB as that would be the obvious place to put the standing area. Davidsyrett
  • Score: 2

11:50am Sat 8 Feb 14

Old-Stager, Hilperton says...

Davidsyrett wrote:
"would not be keen on switching any part of the current ground to standing due to the fact the current facilities would be unable to cope with the increased capacity."

What does that mean? that we cannot cope with larger attendances? Not exactly the words of an ambitious club looking to be in the Championship. Surely anything that brought in extra fans would be a great asset,

My guess is that also means no attempt to put a roof over SB as that would be the obvious place to put the standing area.
Very good post Davidsyrett, - Particularly the point raised about the Stratton Bank.
We laugh about the three-sided Kassim Stadium of Oxford United, but for the most part the County Ground is exactly the same with an empty Stratton Bank which creates a poor atmosphere.
The introduction of all seater Stadia was a knee-jerk decision at the time, made by non-football people under the impression that the Hillsborough Disaster was caused by bad behaviour by Football Fans.
We now know that this was not the case, and therefore I believe that standing areas should be re-introduced for those that wish to stand up to watch a game of football, and also at less cost to the fans.
Only our Politicians could create a situation whereby we see Premiership Games and Championship games played in all-seater Stadiums, with the fans in large areas standing up all through the games and paying high prices to do so.
[quote][p][bold]Davidsyrett[/bold] wrote: "would not be keen on switching any part of the current ground to standing due to the fact the current facilities would be unable to cope with the increased capacity." What does that mean? that we cannot cope with larger attendances? Not exactly the words of an ambitious club looking to be in the Championship. Surely anything that brought in extra fans would be a great asset, My guess is that also means no attempt to put a roof over SB as that would be the obvious place to put the standing area.[/p][/quote]Very good post Davidsyrett, - Particularly the point raised about the Stratton Bank. We laugh about the three-sided Kassim Stadium of Oxford United, but for the most part the County Ground is exactly the same with an empty Stratton Bank which creates a poor atmosphere. The introduction of all seater Stadia was a knee-jerk decision at the time, made by non-football people under the impression that the Hillsborough Disaster was caused by bad behaviour by Football Fans. We now know that this was not the case, and therefore I believe that standing areas should be re-introduced for those that wish to stand up to watch a game of football, and also at less cost to the fans. Only our Politicians could create a situation whereby we see Premiership Games and Championship games played in all-seater Stadiums, with the fans in large areas standing up all through the games and paying high prices to do so. Old-Stager, Hilperton
  • Score: 3

12:43pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Fernham Red says...

Interesting from a historical perspective. Standing was cheaper because it was cheaper to build without the seats and demand for tickets was high.

Stripping out the seats and replacing with rails would cost more money than leaving the seats in. Why does anyone think that standing areas would bring ticket prices down. There is not the demand for tickets at present as we only fill the CG about 50% of it's capacity for most games.

From a financial perspective, it's more likely to work at Old Trafford or the Emirates which are fit to bursting at each match. demand is high and therefore extra bodies mean extra cash. Where are all the extra bodies in Swindon coming from: even at the £10 a ticket rates we fail to get more than an extra 1,00 through the turnstiles?

It does not make business sense, so I suspect it will not happen; especially if we'd have to retrofit the seats a few years aft promotion anyway.
Interesting from a historical perspective. Standing was cheaper because it was cheaper to build without the seats and demand for tickets was high. Stripping out the seats and replacing with rails would cost more money than leaving the seats in. Why does anyone think that standing areas would bring ticket prices down. There is not the demand for tickets at present as we only fill the CG about 50% of it's capacity for most games. From a financial perspective, it's more likely to work at Old Trafford or the Emirates which are fit to bursting at each match. demand is high and therefore extra bodies mean extra cash. Where are all the extra bodies in Swindon coming from: even at the £10 a ticket rates we fail to get more than an extra 1,00 through the turnstiles? It does not make business sense, so I suspect it will not happen; especially if we'd have to retrofit the seats a few years aft promotion anyway. Fernham Red
  • Score: 2

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