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The Case for Safe Standing

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

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

Standing – make the case to your MP

On Monday 25th June MPs will debate the issue of standing at football as Parliament considers an e-petition “relating to allowing Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing”.

Safe Standing & inclusion in Orlando: “Finally someone gets it”

As the safe standing campaign has progressed over recent years more and more spurious arguments have emerged about why it can’t happen in England – one example is that safe standing will exclude disabled supporters. Here former FSF national council member, and wheelchair-using Arsenal fan, Steve Powell tells us why the Orlando City Stadium debunks that myth…

Norfolk MPs back safe standing at Carrow Road

A cross-party group of MPs is backing Norwich City’s push for the introduction of safe standing areas at Carrow Road.

Liverpool fans hail Celtic’s safe standing “positive experience”

A delegation of Liverpool fans visited Celtic Park this weekend to see the UK’s first rail-seating area first-hand.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


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