For the fifth Friday in a row we’re delighted to announce that another club has backed the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign – welcome aboard Cardiff City. They join an ever-growing list which includes Aston Villa, Brentford, Bristol City, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Peterborough United, Watford, AFC Wimbledon and the Scottish Premier League.
- It’s great news but the FSF also needs action from fans too. Words alone are not enough – please visit: www.fsf.org.uk/campaigns/safestanding
While acknowledging that they are currently “duty bound to enforce a no persistent standing policy in all areas of the ground” in accordance with Football League ground regulations the club called for small-scale safe standing trials and said they “regret” the Government’s current opposition to safe standing.
In a statement released today the club said: “Cardiff City Football Club regrets the Government’s stance in refusing to further investigate the possibility of safe standing at football matches. We continue to believe that the debate on safety has not been evidenced by empirical data or reports in practice.
“As such, it is the Club’s opinion that any standing should be dynamically risk assessed in conjunction with the local authority with subsequent recommendations and control measures put in place to ensure reasonable safety. To that end the Club supports the call on the Government to permit a limited number of small-scale safe standing trials.”
Cardiff City are the 14th club in England and Wales to back the FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign and the club’s statement was welcomed by Tim Hartley, chair of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust Chair. The fans’ group had made clear its backing for safe standing trials.
Hartley said: “Cardiff City has a sensible approach when dealing with fans who stand at crucial times during games. Some of our members would like to stand throughout the match and others do not. So we are glad that Cardiff has responded positively to the Trust's request to back a pilot for safe standing in football. We believe that clubs ought to have the freedom to offer fans the choice to stand safely in appropriately designed areas and we look forward to seeing the Government carry this forward.”
- Below left - Rail seats in Klagenfurt (Austria).
- Below right - Bob Symns (chief executive, Peterborough United - middle row, centre) and representatives of Peterborough City Council with Jon Darch (Safe Standing Roadshow) and Hannover 96 staff among rail seats in the AWD Arena (Germany).
Safety expert: Case for safe standing is “irrefutable”
Safe standing is now backed by a huge array of individuals and institutions from across the football world. Safety is of course paramount and the campaign has the support of experts in this field including Professor Steve Frosdick, founder member of the UK Football Safety Officers’ Association (FSOA).
In June 2011 Frosdick spoke at a specially arranged FSF event in Liverpool and his view is clear. Frosdick said: “I think they've [the FSF] got an irrefutable case to allow clubs and fans the choice of having rail seating.
“I have spent the whole of my professional life working to make football grounds safer places for football fans to enjoy their sport, and I would never associate myself with anything that would be to the detriment of the safety and welfare of football supporters.”
Frosdick’s position is backed by current FSOA president Jim Chalmers who believes “there is no reason why safe standing cannot exist in our top two divisions if there is a will to allow this at government level”. Sunderland’s safety manager Paul Weir is also on record as saying he’d be happy to manage fans at the Stadium of Light in safe standing areas.
The FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign also has political support. The cornerstone of the activity is Early Day Motion (EDM) 573, submitted by Roger Godsiff MP, which acknowledges the “widespread support” for safe standing technology and recognises the success of safe standing areas throughout Europe, including in Germany’s Bundesliga.
The EDM “urges the Government to accept the case for introducing, on a trial basis, limited standing areas.” If accepted it means the introduction of safe standing would not require a complex and time-consuming change to primary legislation.
This is all great news but the FSF also needs action as words are not enough. MPs are elected to represent our views and match-going fans know that the case for safe standing is irrefutable. It’s popular, safe and gives fans a choice.
- Make your voice heard and lobby your MP to support EDM 573. It’ll take no more than five minutes of your time and it can all be done via this link on the FSF website.
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