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Wycombe Wanderers back Safe Standing Campaign

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

Wycombe Wanderers are the 25th club to officially back the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign. The campaign has support from the top to the bottom of professional football in the English league system.

  • See the full list of clubs who support the FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign and read more here.

Six Premier League clubs formally back safe standing including Aston Villa. The club’s Chief Executive Paul Faulkner will speak in support of safe standing at tomorrow’s FSF-SD Supporters Summit and has offered Villa Park as a host ground for a safe standing trial.

Earlier this month more than two-thirds of the Football League’s 72 clubs voted in favour of a motion to explore safe standing trials at their annual general meeting in Portugal. This followed support for safe standing from the Championship and Scottish Premier League.

Wanderers: “We listen to fans”

Wycombe Wanderers said: “As a club with a standing end Wycombe Wanderers recognises that many fans prefer this type of accommodation and fully supports the FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign.

“Wycombe Wanderers is a club that prides itself on listening to its fans and the 2,000 capacity Greene King IPA end is very popular among supporters at Adams Park.

“Standing still has a role to play in modern football and we believe supporters should have the choice to sit or stand. Both can be done in perfect safety in properly managed areas.”

Fans backed the club’s statement with FSF-affiliated Wycombe Wanderers Independent Supporters’ Club (WWISC) saying they believed that match-goers should have the choice to sit or stand.

Phil Slatter, Chairman at WWISC, said: “It’s important that football fans in all divisions have the option to stand should they want to. A lot of standing occurs in seated areas of most football grounds anyway, surely supporters standing in areas designated for that purpose would be much safer?

“It’s about having the right to choose between sitting and standing. Why is it huge crowds at rock concerts, festivals and at other top-flight sporting matches such as rugby union are allowed access to terracing yet football fans often aren’t?”

Why does the FSF back safe standing?

The FSF represents more than 220,000 individual and affiliate members throughout England and Wales and tries to fairly reflect fans’ opinion and safe standing is one of the most commonly raised subjects.

Survey after survey (see #2) shows that fans back the choice to sit or stand and standing areas can also help to make stadiums more socially inclusive places. Prices in standing areas are typically lower than seats, raise revenue for clubs and lower prices for fans.

As Professor Steve Frosdick, safety expert and founder member of the Football Safety Officers’ Association, says: “I think they’ve [the FSF] got an irrefutable case to allow clubs and fans the choice of having rail seating.”

Disagree with safe standing?

There are fans who disagree with safe standing, surveys put their number at 10-20%. In our experience such arguments are often based on misconceptions, the most common being:

  • It’s not right for their club (fine, but why stop others?)
  • Hillsborough was caused by standing (it wasn’t)
  • We want to ban seats (not true, we just want the choice)

Read more at the Mythbusters section:

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this article.

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