Celtic: "We want safe standing"

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell says he would like to introduce safe standing areas into Celtic Park. Lawwell saw the system work in Germany and says he thinks it’s the “safest way” to manage the “new vibrancy in football”.

Standing is permitted in Germany and many Bundesliga clubs have safe standing areas. In December 2011 the Scottish Premier League expressed its support for safe standing pilots.

Speaking to Press Association Sport Lawwell said he thought that it was time to deploy some of the systems used in other countries such as Germany.

Lawwell said: “We feel there is a new vibrancy in football that has come from Europe and is now in the UK. It's an energy and youthfulness and the safest way of being able to manage that is through safe standing.

“These are new systems that have come in place that are extremely safe and we are very keen to explore that at Celtic Park.”

What does safe standing look like?

  • Below left - The Safe Standing Roadshow at Celtic Park.
  • 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).

SAFE STANDING

Solution

Lawwell said that young fans brought “an awful lot to the game” but said there were certain types of their behaviour he would not deem safe – a reference to persistent standing in seated areas.

He said safe standing areas were the “ultimate solution for that” and explained the club still had to persuade the safety committee at Glasgow City Council, police, ambulance, fire service and the Scottish Parliament.

“It's not legislation but I think Holyrood need a policy review, rather than legislation, with regard to allowing this to happen as well. We will apply for that,” said Lawwell.

Dozens of clubs from the professional English league system now back the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign, including six from the Premier League. The Football League has also said it would like to “explore” safe standing areas.

While the FSF represents fans in England and Wales – fans north of the border have Scottish Fans – if Celtic were to introduce such areas it would still be a boost for the Safe Standing Campaign. If safe standing is permissible in Scotland, why not England too?

Thanks to Zhi Yong Lee for the image reproduced under CC license.