Away fans must be pitchside says Premier League

Boro fans celebrate point at Man City 4880602

A new Premier League rule is coming into force next season to ensure that away fans will be provided with pitchside accommodation.

For the 2017 Premier League season clubs must provide at least one block of pitchside seating to visiting supporters - the location of away fans will vary from ground to ground, depending on each ground's configuration.

Of the 20 current Premier League teams, only Sunderland do not include any pitchside seats for away fans. 

Away supporters are an essential part of matchday atmosphere and following your team on the road comes at signicant additional cost.

With responsibility for away fans being shared between clubs, the Premier League says that a collective initiative to protect their status is necessary.

FSF chief executive Kevin Miles said: "We've lobbied the Premier League for a number of seasons to move more away fans pitchside and we're very pleased they have chosen to do that from 2017.

"Placing away fans up in the gods may appear to give home teams a competitive advantage, but often in reality this kills the atmosphere for everyone on matchday, this is why we've been lobbying for such a rule to be introduced. We're pleased to see this step taken.

"Away fans make a massive contribution to the atmosphere by bringing noise, colour and character to football grounds every weekend - and we want football to make the most of that."

Thanks to Action Images for the picture used in this story.