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What does Safe Standing look like?

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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One of the challenges for the Safe Standing Campaign is to educate our fellow fans, football industry folk and politicians. They say a picture paints a thousand words and the images below show that safe standing does not mean a return to the dark days of the 80s with vast, crumbling terraces and lethal fences (read more in Safe Standing Mythbusters). Modern technology and methods mean safe standing areas are just that – safe. Find out more below.

View a gallery of safe standing images here…

  • Above left – safe standing rail seats in Hannover (Germany).
  • Below left – Rail seats in Klagenfurt (Austria).
  • Below right – Bob Symns (chief executive, Peterborough United – middle row, centre) and representatives of Peterborough City Council with Jon Darch (Safe Standing Roadshow) and Hannover 96 staff among rail seats in the AWD Arena (Germany).

safe standing hannover klagenfurt

In European countries such as Germany, Sweden and Austria, safe standing areas are permitted in top-flight football. Many grounds also host matches in UEFA/FIFA competitions when standing areas are not permitted.

A number of technologies have been developed to allow for stands to be easily converted from standing to seating and back again, where required on a temporary basis. This can happen several times a season with minimal fuss.

Models used in Germany:


1. Rail seats e.g. Hoffenheim (right, seats secured in ‘upright’ position)

This is the design which most supporters mean when they say safe standing. It’s the key design as far as the FSF’s concerned and the one that clubs seem most likely to adopt. There is a safety barrier and a seat on every row (or two). The seats are locked into an upright position for domestic games and supporters stand between the barriers. For European games, the seats are simply unlocked.



bochum2. Clip on seats e.g. Bochum (right)

With this model standing areas include safety barriers every few rows which are easily removable when converted to all-seating. Seats can then be attached to every second row as there’s a metal clip on every second step. Seats can be unclipped afterwards and the barriers re-inserted after a game which required an all-seater stadium. Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion uses similar technology and boasts the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe.


3. Foldaway seats e.g. Hamburg (below)

Hamburg’s ultra-modern AOL Arena includes 10,000 standing spaces and 45,000 seats. As at Bochum, the barriers are easily removable when the stadium is in all-seater mode but the main difference is that when the stand is in standing mode, the seats fold away. Notice that every other step is made of metal? The seats are under the metal steps. This is not going to be suitable for many clubs but it is another option.

hamburg dual pic

The FSF needs fans to back the Safe Standing Campaign. Find out what simple steps you can take to help introduce safe standing areas into our stadiums…

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