Safe Standing Bill Introduced

In our September newsletter we stated our view that legislation regarding standing at football matches needed to be reviewed.

Don Foster MP, former Liberal Democrats sports spokesman, has now launched a bill that would allow safe standing to be introduced into football grounds in England and Wales.

Speaking yesterday the Bath MP launched his Safe Standing Bill by telling Parliament that there was no evidence to show that properly designed standing areas were inherently unsafe. The bill would give all football clubs “the freedom to build, or maintain
existing, safe standing sections in their stadia if they choose” in an established framework of minimum safety criteria.”

“If it can be done safely – and it can be – I believe it would be far better to have a mix of safe seating and safe standing areas in stadia where clubs chose to offer such options. That way, children, families, and those who want a more peaceful experience could have it, while those who want to stand could exercise that right,” Foster said.

The proposed bill has been welcomed by the Football Supporters Federation. Chris Nash from the FSF stated: “Within the lower leagues, rugby league, and horseracing standing areas are safely available. There’s all sorts of legislation to make them safe and there’s no reason it can’t do in top-level football. Why do we have this quirk whereby clubs in the Premier League and Championship are singled out and treated differently?” At present anti-standing legislation does not apply to Leagues One and Two.