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Football League Clubs Say Yes To Safe Standing

Fri 7th Feb 2014 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

At their meeting at Derby County on Thursday, Football League clubs were presented with the findings of the recent consultation regarding the use of standing accommodation at Football League matches.

A majority of responding clubs answered 'yes' to each of the four questions posed in the consultation, which were:

1. Should The Football League approach the Minister for Sport to request that the 'all-seater' stadia requirements for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation?

2. Should The Football League approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licenced in Football League grounds?

3. Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters standing in rail seating in the Championship?

4. Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League 1 and League 2 following relegation from the Championship?

The Football League will now engage with the relevant authorities and stakeholder organisations regarding these matters. This will be followed by further discussions with clubs.

Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "The consultation has given us a better understanding of the wide range of views held by clubs on this issue and we will take our cue from the prevailing opinion.

"We recognise that this is both a complicated and sensitive matter that will need significant debate. Therefore, no-one should assume that it will lead to overnight change."

Peter Daykin, Safe Standing Co-ordinator at the Football Supporters Federation, said, “Today's Football League statement makes clear that a proportion of football supporters want to stand and their football clubs are happy to give them that choice.

“In arriving at this decision, clubs have considered the arguments for and against, the opportunities standing affords and the concerns the issue throws up and it is quite right that the football family, the Government and police continue to engage in an open, honest, evidence-led debate on the subject.

“The FSF believe that a small number of controlled trials of safe standing areas is an excellent means of facilitating this debate.  

 “The 72 clubs of the Football League deserve great credit for the way they have approached this decision, as do the organisation's staff and board, and we would particularly like to thank the many supporters who lobbied their clubs to say ‘yes’ to safe standing. It’s crucial that individual fans continue to make their voices heard on this issue.”

Bob Symns, Chief Executive at Peterborough United, supports safe standing and welcomed the latest news. “Following all the hard work and commitment that has been undertaken by the FSF, Safe Standing Roadshow, and teams from the Football League and Premier League in regard to rail seating.

“I think the result of the Safe Standing Consultation will prove to be a significant, sensible and safe step in the right direction on the road to bringing this extremely credible option to the public and our stadia”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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