Portsmouth have given a resounding 'Yes' to the Football League in response to a recent consultation paper sent to all 72 clubs about safe standing.
Having added their name to the list of clubs backing calls for trials of safe standing within weeks of the supporters taking over the reins, Portsmouth today became one of the first clubs to publicly announce that it would be answering 'Yes' on all four counts.
At the Football League AGM in June, the majority of clubs passed a resolution charging the executive team with exploring the steps necessary for safe standing trials to be run.
Following extensive research into the issues involved, including a fact-finding trip to Germany where many clubs use rails seats, the team has now sent a detailed paper to the 72 Football League clubs.
The Football League asked clubs for a response to four different questions:
- Should the Football League approach the minister for sport to request that the 'all-seater' stadia requirement for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation?
- Should the Football League approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licensed in Football League grounds?
- Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters in rail seating in the Championship?
- Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League One and League Two following relegation from the Championship?
Chief Executive Mark Catlin said: "As a community football club it is particularly important we take on board the views of our supporters when deciding club policy. Many of our fans would like the choice to stand at our home matches, so we fully support the Football League in taking the safe standing debate to the next stage.
“We hope and believe that the League will get a mandate as a result of this consultation process to enter into a dialogue on safe standing with the respective authorities and look forward to that leading to the introduction of standing areas at grounds like ours in the not too distant future."
Pompey became the country’s largest community club in April 2013 when a consortium led by the FSF affiliated Pompey Supporters’ Trust, and backed by a group of individual fan investors, bought the club out of administration.
- The deadline for Football League clubs to reply is 24th January. The FSF encourages all fans of Football League clubs to lobby their club to answer "yes" to all four questions - contact your club's Supporter Liaison Officer here.
- If you or your club would like to find out more about safe standing, including imagery and FAQs, visit: www.fsf.org.uk/safestanding
Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this article.