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Biggest ever standing survey shows massive support for choice

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The Stand Up For Choice survey, a record breaking piece of research on standing at football published today, shows an overwhelming number of fans support reforming the all-seater legislation.

94% of football fans believe they should have the option to choose the type of matchday experience they want – whether that be seated or standing in safe, licensed areas of grounds.

The survey, which received more than 33,000 responses in less than two weeks, is part of a joint campaign between the Football Supporters’ Federation and EFL.

Stand Up For Choice results:

  • Nearly half (47%) of all fans said they would attend more games if licensed standing was available
  • 69% of fans said they would prefer to stand, compared to less than a quarter (22%) who said seating
  • 94% of Championship supporters and 92% of League One and League Two supporters all back choice between standing and seating.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “Football supporters clearly want the option to stand at football matches and we see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed the choice to have the matchday experience they want.”

Harvey said EFL clubs are hit particularly hard by the current all-seater legislation especially when being promoted to the Championship from League One.

“The current legislation is not appropriate,” Harvey said. “With some League One and League Two Clubs allowed standing areas in their stadiums but others not.

“When you consider the position in the Championship it is equally unfair as Clubs are required after three years to only offer seated accommodation.

“The standard of football on the pitch can have no bearing on whether standing accommodation should be available.

“If standing is permitted at a football match in League One, then why not a game from the division above if they are designed to the same standards?”

The Stand Up For Choice Survey is looking to provide key data on the views of supporters nationwide ahead of a debate in Parliament on Monday 25th June. That debate was brought about after a petition to the Government on safe standing attracted more than 110,000 signatures.

The EFL was given a mandate to pursue a change in legislation on behalf of its Clubs in 2014 and says it is keen to develop increased dialogue with supporter groups, safety authorities and senior Government Ministers to achieve a review of existing legislation.

FSF standing co-ordinator Peter Daykin said: “We’d like to thank every supporter who took the time to take part in the ‘Stand up for Choice’ survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted on the issue of standing at football in England and Wales.

“Once again, football supporters have made it abundantly clear that they want the choice between sitting and standing at a match – genuine choice that is provided at horse racing, rugby, music festivals and beyond. We urge the Government to listen to those supporters who, along with clubs and safety experts, want to see reform of the currently unworkable all-seater legislation.”

Thanks to PA Images for the picture used in this article.

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