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Labour Party & Premier League back all-seater change

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

This week the Labour Party and the Premier League both came out in support of change to the current all-seater legislation governing the top two divisions of English football.

Outgoing executive chairman of the Premier League Richard Scudamore said on Friday that the league was now in favour of allowing its clubs a “local choice” as to whether to introduce standing areas.

“We are looking to make sure we’ve got all evidence and all the data to feed into government on a review they’ve pretty much committed to holding,” Scudamore said.

“I think we will look to work with that review in order to create the position where our clubs have choice – which is a local choice based on their own stadia, their own circumstances, in order to enable them to, if they wish, to be able to offer alternatives to all-seat [stadiums].”

The League’s announcement came on the same day that reform of the all-seater legislation became official Labour Party policy.

At a press conference held at Loftus Road, shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said: “It’s time for change. Labour’s decision is the result of in-depth consultation with football clubs, fans and safety authorities.

“We want to give the power to fans, clubs and local safety authorities, to allow for a small area inside a stadium to be designated for safe-standing.

“Clubs, fans and local authorities know their stadium far better than anybody in Whitehall – the decision should rest with them.”

Labour’s policy announcement followed a consultation with supporters and a round-table discussion with supporter groups from across the country in Parliament on Thursday.

In a significant week for the standing campaign, the Government also said it would review its position on the all-seater legislation.

A government source told the BBC: “Safety of supporters is paramount. However we recognise that technology and stadium design has evolved since the all-seater policy was introduced and the time is right to look at the issue.

“The sports minister has not shut the door to fans keen on standing sections being introduced but it is important that all the evidence and viewpoints are considered extremely carefully.”

Standing is still due to be debated in the House of Commons on Monday 25th June.

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

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