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Brighton & Hove Albion hold safe standing forum

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

Brighton & Hove Albion became the latest club to hold a forum with supporters to discuss the issue of safe standing – the first in the Championship to do so.

Earlier this month, Brighton announced that they would be investigating the possibility of introducing safe standing to the Amex Stadium, in preparation for any legislative changes allowing standing accommodation in the top two divisions.

On Thursday night, the club chief executive Paul Barber met with supporters to discuss the issue with Seagulls’ fans directly.

“Over the last couple of seasons, I’ve looked very closely at some of the options in and around Europe to look at how it’s working, how it’s operating for the clubs that have installed it,” Barber told the audience.

“Over the last year or so my position has shifted quite a lot – from being someone who was quite sceptical about it to being someone who’s much more in favour of it.

“It’s certainly a system that is safe and is working.”

The club showed a video presentation on safe standing to the fans and answered questions. Now the club has sent out a survey to all season ticket holders to get their views on safe standing and to gauge demand.

Alan Wares, from The Albion Roar radio show and podcast said: “I’m really proud that Albion are taking the lead on this.

“I’m hoping other football clubs follow Brighton’s lead and engage their own fans in similar discussions.”

A safe standing section could replace up to 3,000 seats at the Amex, and Alan told us the club would reciprocate safe standing for away fans. At the meeting, the club told fans that safe standing is unlikely to lead to reductions in ticket prices or increased capacity.

“These are the early stages to take on board fans’ views,” Alan said. “It would be an investment of the heart from the owners, in the Championship we’ve got to watch our finances.”

Watch the Brighton & Hove Albion safe standing forum in full below:

 Thanks to James Boyes for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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