Bid for safe standing at Carrow Road ground backed by Elizabeth Truss
PUBLISHED: 11:20 01 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 01 January 2019
The campaign to get safe standing at Norwich City's Carrow Road ground and other football stadiums has been backed by cabinet minister Elizabeth Truss.
The Canaries have been at the forefront of calls for the government to allow supporters in the Premier League and Championship to stand at games.
And Ms Truss, South West Norfolk MP and chief secretary to the treasury, has added her support to the call.
Posting a photograph of herself at Carrow Road on Twitter, she tweeted: “I support safe standing being allowed in the Championship and Premier League. More choice and better atmosphere for fans.”
She added she was proud Norwich City had “led the way on this”.
After the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans died, clubs in the top two tiers of English football had to make stadiums all-seater.
While it is not illegal to stand, people can be ejected from grounds if they refuse to sit.
And, last year, a decision by the Norfolk Safety Advisory Group meant Norwich City had to relocate 17 under 16s and 18 accompanying adults from the lower tier of the Barclay stand, because of issues with fans standing on seats.
Scottish club Celtic recently introduced rail seating, which allows fans to stand and it is commonplace at German grounds.
Bosses at Carrow Road have spearheaded calls for a change in legislation so safe standing can be introduced, with cross-party political support from Norwich MPs Clive Lewis, Chloe Smith and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.
Almost 1,800 football fans in Norfolk played their part in triggering a Parliamentary debate over the introduction of safe-standing at Premier League and Championship grounds.
An on-line petition to the government topped 100,000 signatures, which meant it was debated in the House of Commons in the summer.
Then sports minister Tracey Crouch said her mind was “open” over safe standing and announced a fresh review into the issue.
Senior staff from Carrow Road, along with MPs and supporters had their own audience with Ms Crouch in October.
However, she resigned a month later in protest over delays to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines.