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Reading FC back safe standing

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

Reading FC are the latest club to back the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign. The Royals announced their support as they revealed they had also responded positively to the Football League’s consultation.

Royals spokesman Craig Mortimer-Zhika said, “This is just the beginning of the process, but in the first instance credit must go to the Football League for picking up the mantle on behalf of the clubs.

“We are fully behind the League and FSF in the process, and it goes without saying that the first consideration must be crowd safety. The phrase ‘safe standing’ is often used off the cuff, and the key is for there to be evidence that it truly is safe and viable in a UK stadium.

“If the process is successful and the evidence is clear, this could be a step forward for the club and our fans. There is a long way to go so everybody here remains patient but hopeful, because as much as possible we are here to give our fans the experience they want. Obviously safe standing is part of that.

“At this stage it’s too early for us to consider the location of any standing here at Madejski Stadium. There are many factors involved – safety, cost, number of turnstiles, size of concourse, financial viability and much more – that will all be looked at if and when the consultation is successful.”

The results of the consultation were revealed in early February with 70% of respondent clubs backing safe standing. The Football League says it will “now engage with the relevant authorities and stakeholder organisations regarding these matters”.

FSF National Council member and Royals supporter Jon Keen said, “I’m delighted that Reading Football Club, like so many other Football League Clubs, has voted to support the concept of safe standing.  

“While I think everyone appreciates that a lot would need to happen before we ever see safe standing areas at Madejski Stadium, this support will hasten the day that Loyal Royals who prefer to stand can do so.

“It’s great that Reading have responded to the clear demand amongst supporters for safe standing areas – including demand from supporters who may themselves prefer to sit but know that many fellow supporters do prefer to watch football standing up.”

Last week Bristol City became the first UK club to install safe standing rail seats at their stadium. Initially the area would only be used during Bristol Rugby matches as current regulations prohibit their use for football matches.

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