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Safe standing – fans must act now!

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

The Football League are in the middle of a Safe Standing Consultation with their 72 member clubs – that means there has never been a better time for fans to lobby their clubs directly to say “yes” to safe standing.

Clubs have until Friday 24th January to respond. There’s no time to waste.

The FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign has made great inroads in recent years but this isn’t a campaign we can win alone. We’re only as strong as our members and every individual out there needs to tell their club exactly what they think.

The Football League asked clubs for a response to four different questions and we want them to say “yes” to every single one, just like Pompey did last week.

Those questions are:

  1. Should the Football League approach the minister for sport to request that the ‘all-seater’ stadia requirement for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation?
  2. Should the Football League approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licensed in Football League grounds?
  3. Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters in rail seating in the Championship?
  4. Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League One and League Two following relegation from the Championship?

This consultation is taking place following the Football League AGM’s decision to “explore” the steps necessary for safe standing trials to be run.

While the majority of clubs backed the decision to consult all 72 clubs on safe standing trials, the result isn’t a foregone conclusion. As fans we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.

Football clubs are complex businesses and just because they voted “yes” to the consultation, or formally back our Safe Standing Campaign, it doesn’t mean they will automatically answer “yes” to all four questions.

The document could land on the desk of an individual who doesn’t “get” safe standing, or a new Chief Executive might not understand fans’ views, or a predecessor’s support.

The arguments for safe standing

There are many arguments for safe standing – most fans back the choice to sit or stand, standing helps improve atmospheres, it can be done safely, and it could even help bring ticket prices down at some clubs.

Clubs are more inclined to listen to their own fans, your opinion carries weight, and it’s worth spending a few minutes outlining your support.

If you’re stuck for words though, there are a few simple points you could copy from this page which outlines why the FSF supports safe standing.

There’s also tons more information on the FSF Safe Standing Campaign pages including a Safe Standing Mythbuster (invaluable for responding to misunderstandings and misconceptions).

If your club gets back with a question/point you don’t know the answer to, please do contact us via safestanding@fsf.org.uk. We’re pretty sure we’ll know the answer as similar things pop up repeatedly, and we’re happy to help with your reply.

  • ACTION: Whether you’re an individual fan, group, fanzine, or blog, you should make your voice heard. Time is short, don’t wait until tomorrow – tell your club to say  “yes” to all four questions via your Supporter Liaison Officer here.

Main image – standing areas at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

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