Your basket

Join The FSA

Safe standing up in Germany

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

Given England’s woes the news that Fortuna Düsseldorf have decided to increase their stadium capacity from 51,500 to almost 55,000 won’t exactly make waves in Britain. If we started posting news stories every time a German club made a ground modification we’re sure our web hits would crash pretty swiftly.

Nevertheless the planned extension of the Esprit Arena should matter to fans in Britain as the stadium’s extra capacity is effectively made up of safe standing spaces. In the home section the number of standing spaces available is now 8,199 – an increase of around 3,000.

In recent years the powers-that-be have not only refused refuse to enter into a serious evidence-based debate on the matter but have even taken to arguing that German clubs were moving away from safe standing. They’re wrong on both fronts. (See right for the design of modern standing areas used in Germany which also allow seating for European matches, a Uefa requirement.)

Aside from Fortuna Düsseldorf’s recent announcement Hamburg SV also announced last year that they were increasing the capacity of their HSH Nordbank Arena with 3,000 new standing spaces while St. Pauli and Achen are also taking similar steps.

The option to stand in safety at football stadiums in the Premier League and Championship is regularly shown to be backed by nine out of 10 fans, including those who wish to sit in peace without having their view blocked. The authorities’ refusal to allow safe standing is a constant source of frustration among fans.

You only need to visit a ground in the top two divisions to witness hundreds regularly breaking ground regulations. Specifically designed safe standing areas would be far safer for fans than the current situation where fans throughout the top two divisions are regularly choosing to stand in seated areas.

Standing might have been banned in the top two tiers for almost 20 years but 1000s of fans throughout Britain choose to ignore the rule – why won’t the authorities listen? The law is an ass.

Back in September 2008 the Lib Dems backed safe standing. Now they’ve got a say in power, and Nick Clegg is asking the public which laws they’d like to repeal, wouldn’t it be nice if they followed through with their convictions and listened to football fans?

The Football Supporters’ Federation on Facebook.

Related Articles

32-year safe standing campaign finally wins!

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) was contacted last night by the Sports Ground Safety Association (SGSA), who told us that the option for football clubs to offer licensed standing at all levels of the game in England and Wales has at last been passed into official Government policy.

Vote for your save of the season in the Safe Hands Award

As part of our partnership with BeGambleAware, safer gambling ambassador and former England goalkeeper David James has selected a shortlist of six of the best saves from the past 12 months for the Safe Hands Award.

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.

Progress in standing campaign as major parties back reform

In a first at a UK general election, all three of the main political parties have outlined support for standing at the match in their manifestos.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


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