Your basket

Join The FSA

Football League clubs vote to “explore” safe standing trials

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

More than two-thirds of the Football League’s 72 clubs voted in favour of a motion to explore safe standing trials at their annual general meeting in Portugal on Friday 7th June.

An unnamed club Chief Executive told The Independent’s Robin Scott-Elliot that the motion had “the will of the people” and he expected the Football League to start “lobbying in the right places”.

This follows last month’s news that Championship clubs had voted to back safe standing trials. 21 out of 22 Chief Executives present voted in favour of a motion to “encourage and support the instigation of a rail seat/safe-standing trial period at any League club”.

Clear message

Friday’s vote sends a clear message to the Board – the majority of Football League clubs back the exploration of safe standing trials and the Board has a mandate to implement that.

In addition to this six Premier League clubs officially back the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign – Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Sunderland, and Swansea City.

The Scottish Premier League are longtime backers of safe standing while West Ham United’s David Gold has also given his support in an interview with e-fanzine Blowing Bubbles.

“Safe standing in football stadiums will happen. I promise you it will happen. I’d be stunned if we don’t have some sort of safe standing experiment soon,” said Gold.

“I think, in five years, we will see safe standing at football stadiums because, let’s face it, it’s not very expensive to install and it’s safe, very safe.”

Last year the FSF asked fans to contact their MPs in support of Early Day Motion 573 which called for safe standing trials in football stadiums.

Many MPs backed the fans’ choice but some who opposed safe standing cited the Minister for Sport’s view that there was “no appetite to change the current policy” from the football authorities and clubs in the UK.

With the Football League, Scottish Premier League and one in every three Premier League clubs now backing safe standing trials (or their exploration), that argument looks increasingly shaky.

Disagree with safe standing? Opponents’ arguments are often based on misconceptions – the most common being that Hillsborough was caused by standing (it wasn’t), that we want to ban seats (we don’t) or that it’s not right for their club (fine, but why stop others?). Read more at the FSF’s Safe Standing Mythbusters.

Main image – Bob Symns (Chief Executive, Peterborough United – middle row, centre) and representatives of Peterborough City Council with Jon Darch (Safe Standing Roadshow) and Hannover 96 staff among rail seats in the AWD Arena (Germany).

Related Articles

More standing trials needed says Government report

Research commissioned by the Government looking into possible reform of the all-seater legislation has concluded that more trials of standing areas in the top-flight are needed.

Call It Out conference to explore LGBT supporter issues

A free programme of speakers, workshops , culture and leisure strands for LGBT+ football fans, campaigners, club & league staff will be taking place in Nottingham next month.

League One play-off dates set as EFL clubs vote to curtail season

This week EFL clubs decided to curtail the League One and League Two seasons – with the final tables being decided on a points-per-game basis.

Vote now: FSA Awards 2019 shortlists announced

The Football Supporters’ Association is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2019 FSA Awards in association with BeGambleAware – voting is open now, and fans can back their favourites here. One hundred and nine shortlisted candidates will battle it out across 18 categories, recognising everything from the best players of 2019 to the best away days and fanzines.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe