We, the undersigned, believe that football supporters should have the choice to watch football from a safe standing area, if they so wish, at matches in England and Wales.
- Every week thousands of fans stand in front of their seats for the duration of the game while following the team they love – attempts by the authorities to end this practice have failed. Surveys regularly show the vast majority of supporters back the choice to stand or sit. The FSF’s National Supporters’ Survey showed that 90% of fans back the choice to stand or sit.
- The FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign is not just about those who prefer to stand. By giving supporters the choice, everyone benefits. Those who wish to stand can do so, while those who prefer to sit no longer have to worry about having their view blocked.
- The FSF does not propose that the stringent safety standards laid down in the Government’s Green Guide be abolished or weakened. But we do think fans in the Premier League or Championship should also be allowed to stand in safety as those in any other division can. The idea that safety depends upon the quality of football played on the pitch is absurd.
- We are not suggesting that clubs should be forced to provide safe standing areas – only that they should be allowed the choice. Issues around cost and feasibility should be a matter for individual clubs, not for government.
- Many opponents to safe standing mistakenly cite Hillsborough as a reason not to allow its introduction. However the disaster was not caused by standing; the Taylor Report primarily blamed overcrowding, stadium layout, and poor policing. It did not ban standing nor claim it was inherently unsafe.
- UEFA regulations state that European competitions must be played in all-seated stadiums. Safe standing areas can be convertible to and from seating, so this is not an obstacle to clubs providing standing accommodation for domestic games.
- In both England and abroad, ticket prices for standing areas are typically lower than in seated areas, making the stadiums more socially inclusive.