Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

Standing ban is “anachronism” says top think tank

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.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

A new report published by the free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute is calling on the Government to repeal the ban on standing areas in top flight football.

The report urges the Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch, to intervene and lift the ban – a ministerial act that requires no additional legislation – so that clubs can convert all-seated areas into safe standing zones.

Like many surveys and reports before it, the Adam Smith Institute research shows that safe standing is immensely popular amongst football fans.  

Ben Southwood, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, said: “The standing ban is an anachronism: clubs across Europe have rail seating sections with no incident, creating superior atmosphere and allowing for a cheaper tier of tickets. Just look at Dortmund’s üdtribüne!

“Unlike the adversarial attitude police, club organisations and fans had during the dark days of the 80s, we now know how to manage large crowds well.

“The ban doesn’t fit. Tracey Crouch doesn’t need to pass a law, she has the power to simply undo the prohibition on safe standing—and she should.”

Their research also argues that safe standing areas would allow some clubs to lower ticket prices, increase capacities and offer more “stretch” pricing.

The FSF’s safe standing campaign co-ordinator, Peter Daykin, welcomed the research from the Adam Smith Institute. 

“It’s pleasing to see yet more solid research supporting the case for safe standing.” he said. “It shows once more that lifting the ban on standing areas in England and Wales would be immensely popular.

 “We fully support the Adam Smith Institute’s call for the Sports Minister to lift the ban on standing areas in the Premier League and Championship – allowing clubs to give football fans what they want and convert existing all-seated areas into safe standing zones, if they wish.

 “The debate continues to move on, as Celtic have shown what’s possible. The legislation is falling behind the rest of the country and we’d urge the Government to consider the Adam Smith Institute’s report carefully.”

Celtic were able to install rail seats at Celtic Park as stadium safety powers are devolved to Scotland – so the local safety group was free to give the go-ahead, unlike in England and Wales.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies has been campaigning for similar powers to be given to the Welsh Assembly, which would pave the way for a safe standing trial in Wales.

“We would love to see a limited pilot at grounds here in Wales,” Davies said. “Now we have an opportunity to address this discriminatory ruling which sees football fans treated in a way that fans of other sports are not.”

Davies is once again calling on Westminster to hold a pilot in Wales to assess safe standing more closely. 

Thanks to Greg Mitchell for the image used in this article.

Related Articles

BBC should ‘think again’ about ditching classified scores

The BBC announced this week that they have stopped broadcasting the full classified results on BBC 5 Live as part of its Sports Report programme. 

#ICYMI: Step seven to top tier

This week’s #ICYMI is a piece of non-league magic from the Middlesex County League, where Clapton CFC beat CB Hounslow United Res 3-2 this week thanks in part to this absolute belter from James Briggs. Take a bow.

UEFA urged to reverse blanket ban on away fans

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) are urging UEFA to reverse their decision to put a blanket ban on away fans at European competition this season – arguing instead for a case-by-case approach.

‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ – Did you know about the 50-year ban on women’s football?

This year is an historic one for the women’s game, marking 100 years since the FA banned women’s football from its clubs’ stadiums in 1921. The ban was overturned in 1971 – meaning 2021 is also the 50th anniversary of the FA righting that wrong.

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
  • Pledgeball