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The Case for 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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This Tuesday 11th December the FSF will hold The Case for Safe Standing in Football at Portcullis House (Westminster) – why don’t you contact your MP and ask if they plan to attend? 

A panel of industry experts drawn from football club CEOs, the police, academics and safety professionals will be on hand to chat informally from 12 noon and there will be a panel discussion from 2.15pm to 2.45pm followed by a Q&A session.

The panel discussion starting at 2.15pm will feature Paul Faulkner (CEO, Aston Villa), Bob Symns (CEO, Peterborough United), Professor Steve Frosdick (independent safety expert), Fiona McGee (researcher and writer) and Superintendent Steven Graham (West Midlands Police Force). MPs will also be able to view a demonstration of ‘rail seats’.

The event is sponsored by Roger Godsiff MP who has recently tabled Early Day Motion 573 which calls for the Government to approve small-scale safe standing pilot areas at football clubs. The FSF believes that there is not only an appetite from fans for safe standing areas but a very real business case too.

The FSF understands that football clubs have an absolute responsibility to ensure the safety of people who enter their stadiums. Safe standing meets the stringent standards laid down in the Government’s Green Guide and offers a cost efficient, modern, and practical solution to the very real problem of supporters standing in seated areas.

Aston Villa, Peterborough United and the Scottish Premier League are longtime backers of the FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign while Brentford, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Watford and AFC Wimbledon have all given their support more recently.

Agenda – The Case for Safe Standing at Football

Parliament’s Portcullis House (Atlee Suite) – Tuesday 11 December 2012

  • 12 noon Informal opportunity for attendees to discuss safe standing with football club CEOs, the police, academic, safety professionals and fans’ representatives; View a demonstration of safe standing ‘rail seats’ in action.
  • 2.15pm Panel discussion featuring Paul Faulkner (CEO, Aston Villa), Bob Symns (CEO, Peterborough United), Professor Steve Frosdick (independent safety expert), Fiona McGee (researcher and writer) and Superintendent Steven Graham (West Midlands Police Force). Followed by Q&A and another opportunity to informally discuss safe standing with the panel; View a demonstration of safe standing ‘rail seats’ in action.
  • 3.15pm Close


  • Paul Faulkner is Chief Executive at Aston Villa & was elected to the FA Council in June 2012. Paul spent five years at the Bank of America prior to his appointment at Villa Park.
  • Professor Steve Frosdick is an independent safety expert who has worked on safety and security in sports grounds across Europe for over 20 years.
  • Superintendent Steven Graham has over 20 years experience of policing football matches and is the operational lead for the policing of football in the West Midlands.
  • Bob Symns is Chief Executive Officer at Peterborough United. Bob joined the Posh in 2004 and has overseen the club’s progression into an established Championship club.
  • Fiona McGee is a researcher and writer, who worked on Supporters Direct’s Social Value of Football and Business Advantages of Supporter Community Ownership. Fiona has been following Leeds United up and down the divisions for more than 20 years.

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.

Safe standing areas come to Brentford, QPR, Wolves… and Wembley

Brentford, QPR and Wolves are the latest clubs to confirm they will have safe standing areas – and more clubs are expected to follow next season as the Government has confirmed that Premier League and Championship clubs can introduce standing during 2022/23.

UEFA approves safe standing use at European games

This week UEFA confirmed that it has approved the use of safe standing in European competitions for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

Sports minister: “The case for reform is not in doubt”

Sports minister Stuart Andrew has acknowledged the case for football reform “is not in doubt” in a Parliamentary debate on the financial sustainability of football clubs.

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