A new report reveals 96% of football fans back safe standing

German fans have standing areas at football matches
Image: German fans have standing areas at football matches

A new report into safe standing at football grounds in the UK shows 96 per cent of fans back the idea.

All-seater stadia was one of the key recommendations of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool fans were killed following a crush in and around the Leppings Lane terrace at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

'Safe standing' areas - featuring rail seating that can be removed to allow fans to stand during matches - are commonly used at football stadiums in Germany.

Some Welsh politicians and the Football Supporters Federation are now calling on the Government to trial safe standing at grounds in Wales.

The survey of 2,364 fans undertaken by the Welsh Conservatives found 96 percent backed a 'safe standing' pilot to trial modern stadium technology.

And 84 per cent believe safe standing areas would decrease the likelihood of conflict between stewards and fans.

Bristol City are the first club in Britain to install rail seats but the moment the seats at Ashton Gate are only removed when rugby matches take place at the ground.

Speaking at the launch of the new report at the Liberty Stadium, Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “We all remember the horrific images that came out of Hillsborough and obviously many of the regulations and legislation was put in place to stop another Hillsborough happening.

"But, let's not forget we are in a different era with modern stadia today .

“On the continent and in Germany they have adapted this policy of safe standing and there are various models that can be adopted.

“I have looked specifically at the rail model of safe standing where the seats can be folded up when the safe standing option arrives at the stadium, and for all seater games such as the Champions League they can be folded down.

“We are in a different era, I have fully confidence that the report we have launched today stacks up to full scrutiny, and I would very much welcome Westminster adopting the recommendations of this report that is endorsed by the fans.”

Tim Hartley, Chair of Cardiff Supporters' Trust, added: "We have safe standing at my club Cardiff City, behind the goal people are allowed to stand, now this does breach the regulations but not the law.

“But,  the club has interpreted the regulations to say if you want to stand there then it is a customer service issue.

“Where I sit in the Ninian stand I don't want people standing in front of me and no one is allowed to, so there are ways around the regulations as it stands but let’s do this properly, have a proper pilot study and see whether we can introduce safe standing to any ground that wants it.”

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