Norwich City fans have backed a campaign to reintroduce standing at football matches.

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The Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign aims to persuade the government, football authorities and clubs to bring back limited standing sections at stadia on a trial basis. The campaign is currently being supported by 13 Football League clubs including Aston Villa, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, and Peterborough United.

Jack Bridgeman, 27, an English teacher from Norwich, said: “I think yes [to standing] provided it’s safe. In Europe they have two rows of standing and at English grounds a lot of people stand anyway.

“It should be trailled at a number of clubs first, definitely. It shouldn’t go back to all standing though as there are families and children who go to games.”

Plastic factory technician Shaun Mayston, 43, said: “It would be beneficial for clubs as it would increase attendance.

“The days of all seating grounds has come to an end and I don’t think there would be safety issues as everyone’s aware of what happened before.”

Meanwhile Costessey resident Gary Cartwright, 37, said: “Certain grounds aren’t able to cope with it but personally I would like to see it, there’s more atmosphere.

“I’m not really worried about the safety of it but you’d probably need to increase the security a bit.”

Craig Briggs, a 21-year-old labourer from Attleborough, added: “I think it would be a good idea bringing standing back, people stand anyway.”

But Pip Burden, 63, from Holt, has his doubts about standing. He said: “If you can see sitting you should sit. If everyone can watch the game I don’t see the problem.

“Sitting is much safer as otherwise people push to the front and it all get’s crushed.”

The views of Norwich City fans came as the families of the Hillsborough victims condemned the campaign.

Margaret Aspinall is chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and her son James, 18, was among the 96 people who died at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium in April 1989.

Mrs Aspinall said: “There are 96 reasons why it should not be allowed. There were 96 dead at Hillsborough and it could have been a lot more.

“Standing should never, ever come back. I do not think there is anything safe about standing.

“I feel insulted that while people are trying to fight for justice for Hillsborough, that this campaign is growing now.”

But Superintendent Steven Graham of the West Midlands Police has said better stewarding and stadium design than was available in the 1980s is helping to make grounds safer.

He said no link could be made between hooliganism and standing stadia, as the fan who threw a coin at Rio Ferdinand during the weekend’s heated Manchester derby was in a seated area at the Etihad Stadium.

His belief is that police commanders “would not be riddled with fear” if they were policing a ground that had standing seats.

He argued: “We have got very little experience of what standing would look like in a 21st century football ground in the UK. We have experience of it from the 1980’s in the UK and we have experiences of it today in Germany.

“We are not proposing tearing up football grounds. We need to start gathering some data so that people in the industry can make decisions to give supporters the best customer experience.”

The FSF claims football has changed dramatically since the Taylor Report first recommended all-seated stadia in the 1990s, but one thing that has not changed is the desire from supporters to stand.

While standing is officially banned throughout the Premier League and Championship, the reality is very different, they claim.

A campaign spokesman said: “Week in, week out football supporters stand in their thousands at top level English football, all of them in accommodation that is unfit for purpose and usually to the detriment of other fans who prefer, or are forced, to sit.

“Meanwhile technology has moved on apace and we see fans across the globe - in Germany, Norway, Sweden and the USA - standing safely in properly designed and managed areas, paying lower prices and generating better atmospheres. In short, England and Wales are being left behind.

“Nobody associated with the Football Supporters’ Federation’s safe standing campaign wants to return to life on the terraces of the 1980s.

“Looking to the future, there’s a tremendous opportunity to solve some of the profound problems in the modern game by introducing new standing technology.”

Let us know what you think. Do you support this campaign? Vote in our poll and leave your comments below.

18 comments

  • What a completely pointless debate. As with everything in life, decisions are made by a few people and everyone else just have to accept them, as they will become a law in one way or another. This topic is as pointless as asking City fans to cheer on that insignificant pub team in Suffolk in their battle against relegation.

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    Bootneck R.M.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • I do believe that it should be brought back and a choice given to people whether they wish to stand or sit. I personally cannot stand only for a few minutes, but remember the days of standing in the Barclay, there was nothing like it for a real atmosphere. Bring it back and give a choice

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    gordon52

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • richard`s right. I`m glad McGnarly has ruled it out already. But, as long as those who prefer to sit can still watch the game unobstructed by the erectile folk, all well and good. As Lobbo says, those who opt to be seated should ... stay seated! Then, complete segregation of those who prefer to stand should render that a non-issue, shouldn`t it?

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • I wouldn`t say that Lowestoft were insignificant, Bootneck. Actually they are well placed for the play-offs in the Ryman Premier League. Are there teams other than the Trawlerboys in Suffolk?

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

  • I understand the strong feelings that those involved in Hillsborough have, but all seating does produce a tame atmosphere + we can't live our lives wrapped in cotton wool. I've no doubt we could substanially reduce deaths on the roads by banning all private cars + having public transport only. But would anyone want such a system.?

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    Timbo

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • We all know why seating was introduced - to reduce violence and improve safety. Thet reason remains as valid today as ever. Keep the seating....

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    Surrey Canary

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • Does that also mean Tickets for standing areas would be half price,

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    billythebookie

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • I believe that people should stand if they prefer. Yes Hillsborough does always come to mind, but the issue there was not because of the standing it was the surge of people being let in by the authorities on that tragic day. Today health and safety is priority.

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    SallyK

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • I personally would like to stand all game, better atmosphere and i enjoy it more, dont care about the price of the ticket, but i'd keep it just to certain areas like the lower barclay and snake pit, then if you don't want to stand you have three other stands or even the top of the barclay to sit. as for hillsborough that was to do with the police and to many people getting into the wrong pens these days it would be controlled a lot better, plus there's no fencing.

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    Kial

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • This is a non story. David McNally has already (quite rightly) ruled it out.

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    Abraham

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • Personally I think we've now had all seating stadiums for so long that I don't think it's necessary to change it back however I've got nothing against it if there was a small allocation for standing.

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    Jake

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • they could always have a block for standing only,as long as it do not spoil the view of people sitting.and what is a standing seat?

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    bluelight

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Can I just make this clear. The only proposals being considered by the authorities for standing will not increase capacity. The plan being considered would rip up every other row of seating, allow one person to stand where the seat removed was, then allow one person to stand in front of the seat that remains. Why would a club want to do that - most people campaigning think it will allow reduced prices but with no increase in capacity there would be no benefit to the club financially - if anything it would make clubs worse off. Please, please, if you want to stand at matches recognise the limitations that will be placed on you in the Premier League, go and watch a local non-league side to get your kicks. Enjoy the Posh cup game - it might change some of your minds.

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    shefcanary

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • I have mixed views on this. With the current arrangement I (as a season ticket holder at home and away) watch most matches standing anyway without real problems, although I would prefer to sit. My wife, being on the short side, has real issues simply because she can't see at away games and ending up watching the game at Everton on their big screen. She pays the same ticket price as everyone else, but doesn't get to see much of the action. If safe standing meant that she actually got to see games rather than looking at the back of the tall person stood in front of her (including people standing in the front row of the upper tier at Stamford Bridge!!!) then maybe it has to happen.

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    Mikanary

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • never again after Hillsborough,it could have been us there.end of.

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    SussexYellow

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • The Hillsborough families who are against standing I can understand their view and I do not wish to seem to be callous but as Kial pointed out a very important difference i.e. we do not have fences these days hence the likelihood of crushing is taken away. Standing is and will always be a personal matter and in these days of choice we should also have that choice. Where I foresee a problem is you will need to have dedicated areas for standing, with the high percentage of the ground filled with season ticket holders you would need to ensure an agreeable way to have the supporters reallocated to accommodate the wishes of all. This I think will become like goal line technology, there will seem to be many against it but it will happen and although I would prefer to sit, it is an age thing, I would not like to see the wishes of fellow supporters go unheeded hence I will be in the yes camp. As for pricing then we are in the lap of the Gods or should I say Directors and I say that with a wry smile. OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • You WILL sit or the people who know better than you will have you shot. If you advocate standing over emotional arguements will be used against you. Whats wrong with standing ,as with stadium design safe standing is so easily achievable.The choiceoption should be there.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • I think standing has had it's day. but re sitting, it annoys me so much when the rows in front stand up every time there is some action,so I have to stand too in order to see. Sitting means sitting, strap everyone in, That's what I say.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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