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Who backs 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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Think it’s just fans who want to introduce safe standing areas? Think again. A whole host of football industry figures, architects, safety experts and politicians back safe standing. Every other week it seems someone new adds their name to the list. If a significant figure from your club speaks out in support of safe standing, let us know via [email protected] and we’ll add them to the ever growing list below.


“We actually wish we could have fans like that back in England who stand up behind the goal and sing all the way through, fantastic atmosphere really enjoyed it.” West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce after his team visited Dynamo Dresden

“It gives fans, a certain group of fans who like to stand who create the atmosphere, another way to be in our stadium. Why would you be against that, if you can do it safely?” Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis

“I fully support the FSF’s campaign and hope that together we can persuade the powers that be to look seriously at the rail seat option. If they wanted to use London Road as a pilot site, we’d be more than happy to oblige!” Peterborough United chief executive Bob Symns

“A not insignificant number of our fans prefer to watch football standing up, but we currently do not have the opportunity to satisfy this customer preference. Rail seats could provide us with a safe and well-managed means of doing so.” Derby County manager Nigel Clough

“The fans have intimated for some time their desire for a standing area. It is only right that we are willing to explore the possibility.” Glasgow Rangers chief operating officer Ali Russell

“We’ll be welcoming pilot schemes put forward that look at the rail seating systems. Having spent some time in Germany, looking at the systems at Borussia Dortmund, it’s a fantastic system and it certainly does a great deal for the atmosphere within the ground.” Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster

“We want to create a model standing area that will become a reference point for the world.” Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner proposing a board motion at the club’s General Assembly to create a safe standing area at the Camp Nou. The motion was passed.

“The fans are standing anyway so I think it’s better to make it official…I’m a traditionalist and I certainly enjoyed standing at a match. The fans are a bit more involved when they are standing and can get more excited.” Aberdeen and ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown

“On a personal basis, I am all in favour of safe standing, whatever the league.” Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin

“Brentford FC supports the concept of safe standing and will consider its inclusion in the design of the new stadium. We have asked our consultants to look into the practical implications of providing safe standing in the new stadium.” Brentford director and Supporters Direct chair Brian Burgess

“I am in favour of safe standing the key is in the title ‘safe’. DG” West Ham United co-owner David Gold

“In this world the customer has the right to choose and if some fans would prefer to stand, fair enough.” West Ham United chief executive Karen Brady

“We’re happy to look at it. Obviously there is a demand for standing at the stadium… and if that’s what people want then we’re doing our duty to at the very least explore it and see if it’s possible.” Crystal Palace chief executive Phil Alexander

“It [safe standing] is definitely something we are supportive of and we are talking to Hull City Official Supporters’ Club (HSOSC). We believe there should be a place for every type of fan at the KC Stadium,” Hull City owner and vice-chairman Ehab Allam.

“The authorities, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and the supporters should urgently review the standing issue, with a view to making proposals to Government for addressing the problem.” Professor Derek Fraser, Independent Football Ombudsman


“We as designers have no problem with standing at all…in terms of safety it can be done without any problems at all in small areas. It is great to have standing areas. If the legislation is there to allow the top clubs to have standing areas again, it could help the clubs who are looking to expand capacity and allow more young people in,” Wembley and Soccer City architect John Barrow of Populous

“The design and control measures already exist for the provision of safe standing. All that is necessary to give the fans what they want is a bold step and a leap of faith by government responding positively to the call for a return of safe standing.” Jim Chalmers, president of the Football Safety Officers Association

“I think they’ve [the FSF] got an irrefutable case to allow clubs and fans the choice of having rail seating. I have spent the whole of my professional life working to make football grounds safer places for football fans to enjoy their sport, and I would never associate myself with anything that would be to the detriment of the safety and welfare of football supporters.” Professor Steve Frosdick, founder member of the Football Safety Officers’ Association

“As a club we would like to give fans who want to stand the opportunity to do so in a safe, appropriately designated area. The rail seats concept looks interesting and if the rules allowed it I’d be happy to manage standing fans in such areas.” Sunderland safety manager Paul Weir


“Safe standing is about freedom of choice. Every week tens of thousands of people stand at rugby, horseracing and pop concerts. And in Germany, modern stadia such as Hamburg and Bremen allow supporters to stand both safely and legitimately.” Roger Godsiff MP

“It is now time for football and its regulators to take another step forward by listening to fans, looking at the modern options available, and letting football lovers enjoy games on their feet.” Don Foster MP (as shadow minister for culture, media and sport)

“I tried to get Labour to put safe standing in our last manifesto…the debate is shifting with Aston Villa the latest club to take a look at how it might work in practice. I’d advise anyone who fancies a weekend away to go to a big match in Germany, where lower prices and safe standing have helped make the German Leagues better attended and with better atmosphere.” Former director of communications at Number 10 Alastair Campbell

“The Safe Standing campaign shows that supporters no longer have to choose between standing up and being safe. Installing rail seating in parts of a ground would cater for fans who want to stand as well as those who prefer a seat, and would improve the atmosphere for all.”  Rt Hon David Davis MP

“I can see no reason why football clubs should not be allowed to introduce any form of accommodation which is compatible with modern safety standards… I am quite sure that the Coalition Government would do nothing to obstruct any sensible innovations and I do realise that there are many football supporters who would prefer to get back to some kind of standing crowd.” Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP

“I like the idea. Certainly when you go to a Man United away game and you’re with supporters who don’t really sit down very much, let’s be honest, the atmosphere’s fantastic! You don’t need to make a stadium all standing, you can have seats and certain sections where people can stand up.” Former cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell

“While safety must always be the ultimate criterion, there is no reason to ignore technological improvements made since Taylor reported, which might allow for safe standing.” Tony Blair (as shadow home secretary)

“I hope this issue is given serious consideration. When I looked at it as sports minister I was convinced that safe standing should be allowed.” Kate Hoey MP (former minister for sport)

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…

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