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MP Calls For Standing Sections At Premier League Clubs

John Leech, Withington MP, thinks its time to re-introduce standing at grounds

Published on February 6th 2013.

MP Calls For Standing Sections At Premier League Clubs

MANCHESTER WITHINGTON MP John Leech has called for 'safe-standing' to be reintroduced into English football.

The recent report into Hillsborough did not blame the disaster on the fact that there were terraces, they blamed poor decision making by those in charge of the emergency services.

Leech, is a twenty-nine year long season ticket holder at Manchester City, and is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport. 

"With ticket prices going through the roof, football is in danger of becoming only affordable to the rich," he says. "Safe standing would be a way of reducing ticket prices, offering more choice to fans and improving the atmosphere at games.

Leech reckons that it's time to make that change to safe-standing. He thinks that for years, no-one over here would talk about the issue. This was because a generation of football fans were scarred by the tragedy at Hillsborough, when 96 innocent Liverpool fans died.

John LeechJohn LeechThen after the Hillsborough tragedy, the metal fences, put up as a result of hooliganism in the 1970s and early 1980s came down, and all-seater stadiums were introduced. But the recent report into Hillsborough did not blame the disaster on the fact that there were terraces, they blamed poor decision making by those in charge of the emergency services.

Leech claims that safe standing’ is supported by many fans groups, including the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct. Several countries in Europe and worldwide, like Germany, Austria, Sweden, Canada and the United States, have 'safe standing' for domestic fixtures.

Last December, Leech became convinced that standing could again be accommodated within in British grounds once more when he went to see Borussia Dortmund at their stadiumFor league games, Dortmund operate 'safe standing', with tickets from about 14 Euros (£12.50) and this gives them a capacity of 80,600 (15,000 more than for Champions League Games).

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Poster BoyFebruary 6th 2013.

...short memories. It hasn't gone away.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2013.

Bring back safe standing!

The new report into the Hillsborough disaster shows that standing was not to blame. To link standing at football to hillsborough is naive propaganda.

Stephen LakeFebruary 6th 2013.

Where's the seating at Glastonbury, V festival, Leeds, Download etc....all have attendances way higher than any football match. Safe standing would bring back the atmosphere that's sadly lacking at premier league matches as well as make it more affordable.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2013.

Blame for Hillsborough has moved from the Liverpool fans to the South Yorkshire police.

So the ban on standing should have been originally for Liverpool fans only, and then for matches in the South Yorkshire area.

There was never a need for a blanket ban.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 6th 2013.

Why do Liverpool fans stand at away matches?

This question should be asked more.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2013.

Most away fans stand at most grounds. It creates a better atmosphere

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2013.

i don't see the difference between standing at a football match and standing at a gig. Would this require extra costs for security though? And therefore would this be put on tickets? Or does this mean more are allowed in to the designated standing area and therefore the cost of tickets would go down?

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2013.

There's no practical reason why safe standing should not be allowed. Lots of clubs are expressing a legitimate interest in introducing safe standing; lets hope it happens soon!

Tim EvansFebruary 8th 2013.

Properly designed safe standing barriers/areas, such as those used in Germany, are excellent and reduce risk to pretty well zero- www.fsf.org.uk/…/what-does-safe-standing-look-like…
Many fans stand between seats anyway, which stewards find very difficult to stop. Safe standing increases ground capacity and should be cheaper than seating, thus giving football fans with less money a chance to go to games.

Duke FameFebruary 8th 2013.

The political and financial objections are obvious.

Any government who changes the laws back to standing only has everything to lose and nothering to gain. As soon as there is an incident, the government will get the blame.

For those clubs that have spend millions on new stadia, I can't see them going for it. Why would Newcastle for instance want to have cheaper standing positions in place when they have spend millions in developing a stadium to seat 52k people when they know they will attract between 49-52k in most games. Introducing standing will still just get 49-52k punters but those standing will expect to pay less.

Even Manure wouldn't get many more than the current capacity. I can see why the likes of Villa would support this as they have not developed their stadium to any great extent.

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