Call for return of Carrow Road terraces

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 10 September 2010

Peter Walsh and Sam Emanuel

Football fans in Norwich today called for the return of the terraces at Carrow Road.

Football fans in Norwich today called for the return of the terraces at Carrow Road.

Like all top flight clubs, Norwich City Football Club's ground, was changed to seating after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 in which 96 football supporters died during overcrowding at an FA cup semi final game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The official inquiry, conducted by Lord Taylor, blamed poor policing and inadequate facilities for the tragedy but the main recommendation was for the introduction of all-seater stadia and the removal of perimeter fencing.

But, with the Liberal Democrats set to debate a motion at their Bournemouth conference into whether terraces should come back, Canaries fans are calling for standing to be reintroduced.

Kathy Blake, of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, said: “There are a lot of people who have got strong feelings about it and I can't see any reason why they wouldn't reintroduce it at Carrow Road, apart from cost, which is of course an issue.

“I am sure there would be a lot of support for it amongst fans.

“Safety is so much better in other respects now and as long as the numbers were limited so it wouldn't be totally packed, I think it would be fine.”

Max Leggett, 17, a season ticket holder in the Lower Barclay stand, said: “I would love to be able to stand, and I think everyone in the stand would be in support of it.

It's quite annoying being told to sit down. I don't think the club would re-introduce it because they would be worried about things going wrong, but I think people are more responsible now and the reason there were problems before was because they let too many people in.

Joe Ferrari, head of media at Norwich City Football Club, which has previously written to fans who stand up in their seats to tick them off, said the club would follow the advice of the Government and football associations before deciding to reintroduce standing areas, but did not rule out the possibility.

He said: “We have always said we would be guided by legislation and the relevant football associations and consult fans before considering making any changes to seating arrangements.

“Our own research that one of the main factors that determine whether people come to watch football games is safety, and that would be our primary consideration, as well as the cost implications.

“The capacity of a standing game is much higher than that of a seated game, but people pay less for tickets to go and stand, and we would also have to spend money taking out the seating, so there are a lot of things to consider.

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) and Stand Up Sit Down have led the campaign to re-open the case for standing sections.

They point to German stadia as an example of how this can be done without compromising safety and have drawn attention to the fact fans are allowed to stand at football matches outside the top two divisions, rugby matches and even music events at football grounds.

Lib Dem sports spokesman Don Foster said: “If fans want to stand, and clubs want to let them, we should at least explore safe ways of achieving it.

“Football has taken enormous steps in recent years with more diverse crowds, improved stadium designs and better policing. These proposals would in no way seek to undermine that progress.”

This weekend, football fans from 14 different countries unite in the Eurostand 2008 campaign to demand the right to stand.

Do you think people should be able to stand at Carrow Road? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co,uk

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