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  • March 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm Dave

    It’s worth noting that the FLA report on Germany was always going to be negative, as it was a classic case of a minister losing the detail. The FSF did an FOI request on this and the evidence was instructive.

    Kate Hoey was an advocate of standing, and her officials in the DCMS are resolutely opposed. She said the FLA would conduct a review, but the specific question the FLA were asked wasn’t ‘is standing something that could work in the UK’ but ‘is the Kombi system something that could work under the current guidelines for stadia in Britain’. That’s a very different question indeed which prejudges the answer.

    It’s also worth noting that the Uk statistics on injuries on standing don’t analyse injuries sustained because of standing; they only classify according to whether the stadium has terraces or not. Someone scalded by hot tea in the boardroom of Morecambe’s stadium would be classed as an injury at a ground with standing, for which you don’t need to be Ben Goldacre to see the methodological flaws.

  • March 25, 2009 at 4:15 am Adrian Ludbrook

    I would like nothing more than to see standing made legal in the Premier League, Championship and the SPL. The atmosphere at UK grounds is appaling, and those that do generate atmosphere tend to be standing anyway. I know, up to two seasons ago I was a season ticket holder in Ipswich’s Lower North and it would take several warnings of ejection before I would consider sitting. Even if the stewards did get you seated someone would start a chant of ‘Stand Up if you hate the scum’ and the whole pantomime would start over again. As for away games, we’d very rarely sit, and it was the same for visitors at Portman Road. Blocks V1 and V2 (away section) would be standing all game.

    I no longer have a season ticket, only going to a couple of matches a year and mostly away games. I became very disillusioned with league football, poor treatment by police and stewards, no atmosphere, high ticket prices, several friends receiving banning orders and an arrest at an away game for the heinous crime of being ‘drunk’. OK I’d had a drink but I was well in control, it was simply the system flexing its muscles. The game is a shadow of the sport I grew up loving on the 70’s and 80’s. Sure, it had its demons back then but with modern CCTV systems problems inside the grounds are all but a thing of the past.

    The authorities need to wise up, policing and stewarding should be at a level appropriate to the event, a football match and not a riot! People will stand whatever the law, new technology exists that allows safe standing. Standing in seated areas is dangerous – fact. This situation can be resolved with proven technology. To save the English (and Scottish) game the FA / SFA need to look at the introduction of safe standing areas, fan areas similar to those seen in the MLS for the more vocal support and a complete review of the policing and stewarding of games.

    Finally with regard to Simon Inglis’ comments on the requirement to rebuild areas for safe standing due to increased loading why not introduce the German style individual barriers that contain a fold down seat to allow for Euro regulations. This way the denstity of standing ‘seats’ is the same as the current seated stand. OK you lose the extra capacity that traditional terracing would give you, but let’s be honest, apart from the big four in the Premier League show me a club in England who regularly sell out their stadium?

    Keep up the good work Pitch Invasion!


    No al calcio moderno – Anti-modern football.

  • March 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm Micah

    The Kombi convertible seating does not look very safe. I’m suprised people don’t trip over them when collapsed. I would also imagine they’re easily damaged. Perhaps I’m wrong.

    When it comes to the UK does the goverment not trust the FA to keep up with safety standards or is it a matter of not trusting supporters to act like civilized persons? Maybe both?

    If safety was the number on issue one would think a new system would could be devised to make a terrace safe and sound for those wishing to stand. The fact that this has not happened would leave me to believe that deep down is the supporter that isn’t trusted in a terrace enviorment.

  • March 28, 2009 at 1:02 am The Gaffer

    I’m all for safe standing. Depending on the Premier League ground, many fans stand throughout games anyway although it’s nothing close to the terracing of yore.

    Just as a footnote, I interviewed the Football Supporters Federation for a previous EPL Talk Podcast episode here if anyone is interested. The representative spoke extensively about safe standing and other related issues.

    The Gaffer

  • March 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm Football Gifts

    I really like the look of that kombi seat. I think Micah missed the point that the seat not only folds flat to the floor, but the floor actually folds over again containing the seat in a void below. Seems like a pretty good answer. I’m sure improved cctv inside stadia and out would help against the threat of a return to the hooligan days.

  • April 15, 2009 at 3:34 am Matt Smith

    I’ve been banging on about this ever since it was ‘abolished’ after the Taylor report. A knee-jerk reaction to a (another) police farce.
    1) Its done perfectly safely at gigs and festivals where the number of people is many many times greater – with very few ‘safety’ measures.
    2) Our continental cousins manage it without problem.
    3) People continue to stand in seated areas where it is much more dangerous anyway – also without incident.
    3) It DOES improve atmosphere and also capacity. Has it not occured to clubs that more people through the gates means more money? Just sell tickets like you do with seats and when they’re gone then its sold out – impossible to overcrowd.
    4) The CHOICE should be there for people who want it. I can GUARANTEE that a section for standing would be sold out for every game all over the country whatever the stadium.
    5) Stewarding and policing have improved in recent years so the likelyhood of trouble would be no greater than with seated areas.
    6) All crowds whether seated ot otherwise are relied upon to behave. Saying it will encourage violence is ridiculous.
    I started watching football in the South Bank at Molineux and the day it was ripped down was a very sad one indeed. I’m all for renovation and improvement but stopping people from standing was a backward step and should be reversed ASAP.

  • May 31, 2009 at 1:35 am Mike Bartram

    I’m a Liverpol fan, obviously this is a very sensitive issue with us fans in particular. I was brought up on the standing kop of the late 60’s and the 70’s and that sort of atmosphere is sorely missed at Anfield now.

    I’m currently writing a book of poetry regarding Hillsborough, once poem is simply called ‘Terraces’, and it’s my personal view on the subject…….


    A sensitive question that some people are even afraid to ask.
    Because even just to discuss it, people can be taken to task.
    But it’s still a valid question that needs to be answered all the same.
    And it’s should whether or not the terraces should be allowed back
    in to our game?
    Some peoples will always say no, and I respect their reasons why.
    But I believe it was not just the terraces that caused anyone to die.
    And some people will disagree with me, and I see their point of view.
    But ‘Hillsborough’ could have been avoided, is what I think to be true.
    Because the steps and barriers at that ground shouldn’t take all the
    Though some people may rightly argue that people still died there
    just the same.
    But maybe we should look at it again and at all the lessons that we
    had to learn.
    And one day in the future discuss whether the terraces should make
    a return.

  • July 16, 2009 at 9:09 am David

    I think that all league grounds should be all-seater, to avoid another Hillsborough disaster.

  • January 7, 2010 at 6:20 am Kombi Servisi

    The Kombi convertible seating does not look very safe. I’m suprised people don’t trip over them when collapsed. I would also imagine they’re easily damaged. Perhaps I’m wrong.

  • May 6, 2010 at 4:06 am Football Souvenirs

    I feel that safety of the supporters is paramount; Hillsborough was a tragedy waiting to happen and we need to learn the lessons from that disaster and never let it happen again. The way supporters were treated in those days was a disgrace. Justice for the 96.