Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday March 24 2011
Supporters' Online Petition - SUPPORT SAFE STANDING!
The Football Supporters` Federation (FSF) believes 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.
If you agree, sign the FSF's petition today.
The FSF is the national supporters` organisation for all football fans and represents more than 180,000 individual fans and affiliate members, such as supporters' clubs, throughout England and Wales. Once closed this petition will be handed to the relevant government and football authorities.
Every week thousands upon 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 practise 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.
Why now? The clamour for safe standing is ever-growing, so why not now? Don Foster MP for Bath, and Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, has launched a Safe Standing Bill which is due for a second reading in Parliament on 17th June 2011. The more signatures we can gather to support his Safe Standing Bill, the better…
More info: http://www.fsf.org.uk/campaigns/safestanding.php
Date:Thursday March 24 2011
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