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Nine out of 10 Liverpool fans back safe standing

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Liverpool supporters have overwhelmingly backed safe standing in one of the largest surveys ever conducted on the subject.

Almost 18,000 Liverpool fans took part in the survey as part of a consultation held by the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ union – with 88% of respondents voting to support rail seating. 

The week long vote was the culmination of an extensive consultation carried out by Spirit of Shankly over the last nine months, which included discussions and debates with match-going Liverpool fans, the Football Supporters’ Federation, government safety experts as well as Hillsborough families and survivors.

Chair of Spirit of Shankly Jay McKenna said: “It’s an incredible turnout, we aren’t aware of such numbers voting before.

“It demonstrates to us that we were right to have this discussion and that supporters, families and survivors want to have their say.”

“The size of the turnout majority means that no-one can be in any doubt that supporters have had their say and made an informed decision.”

The survey found that only 5% of fans were against the idea of rail seating, another 5% wanted to know more about the accommodation and 2% were undecided. Seven out of 10 women were in favour of safe standing, while 70% of respondents said they would definitely like to use a rail seating area at Anfield should one become available.

Spirit of Shankly’s survey result is the latest in a long line of supporter-led surveys that demonstrate just how popular safe standing is with match-going fans.

Last week, surveys of Leicester City and Middlesbrough supporters showed that both sets of fans overwhelmingly supported safe standing (87% and 94% respectively).

Peter Daykin, safe standing co-ordinator at the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: “Spirit of Shankly ran an excellent consultation with their members and the results show widespread support for safe standing among Liverpool’s fan base.

“The FSF welcomes the results which are broadly in line with what all the surveys tell us – around nine out of 10 fans back the choice to sit or stand.

“It’s positive news for the campaign and comes on the back of similarly supportive surveys from fans of Arsenal, Everton, Middlesbrough and Spurs.

“The Premier League are consulting their clubs on safe standing and we hope to see a positive response from top-flight clubs.”

Spirit of Shanky rail seating survey results, from 17,910 fans:

  • 6,014 supporters attend Anfield regularly (more than 11 games per season). Of these, 88% were in favour, 7% against, 3% don’t know enough and 2% undecided
  • 7 in every 10 women voted in favour of rail seating
  • 70% of supporters say they would definitely use a rail seating area and 19% say they probably would use one
  • 40% of respondents were aged 22-34 years, the highest category, followed by 34% aged 35-49
  • Of those who could have been old enough to stand on the old Kop (those aged over 12 in 1994), 85% voted in favour.

Thanks to Action Images for the picture used in this news story.

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