FSOA statement re ‘Safe Standing’
“We have noted with interest that a petition in support of so-called ‘safe standing’ has gathered momentum among spectators and clubs following the Government’s decision to reject a pilot scheme at West Bromwich Albion and will now be considered for a debate in Parliament.
“The issue of supporters persistently standing in seating areas is one that affects all-seater football stadia up and down the country and threatens to compromise the safety of thousands of fans every match day. Something must be done to tackle this issue, and the introduction of an alternative such as dual-purpose seating or other systems currently being developed to enhance safety should not be ignored.
“The FSOA was therefore disappointed with the decision to reject the trial, which would have provided the perfect opportunity to gather much-needed data and feedback on alternative systems that are not intended to encourage more fans to stand but instead create a safer environment for those who already persist in doing so.
“Only by allowing trials of dual-purpose seating to go ahead can enough information be gathered to enable the Government to make an informed decision on whether such an alternative is safer than the status quo. The safety of spectators must always remain paramount, which is why it is pleasing that this issue will be given the careful consideration it deserves with the view of enabling positive change and enhancing match day safety at all grounds going forward.”