Monday, 4 April 2011
Should standing areas return to British Football?
Could safe standing areas be reintroduced to British football soon?
If the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) have their way then the answer will be yes.
At the end of March the FSF launched a campaign to bring in safe standing areas to football grounds and the move has been backed by a large number of football fans who see the campaign as welcome move in bringing back an atmosphere to football stadiums.
There are many teams in the lower leagues of football in Britain who still have standing areas and the amateur and junior leagues have terraces as well with no problems so there is evidence to show no problems would be created if safe standing areas are reintroduced.
German football has incorporated safe standing areas successfully which has led to bigger crowds at the games and the FSF claim that following the lead set by the German leagues, a more enjoyable experience at football games would be created.
Many people claim that all seated stadiums have ruined the atmosphere at football games and when some fans try to stand up and sing their support for their team they are singled out as troublemakers and advised to sit down.
This would not happen if areas are created so fans are able to stand for the whole game if they like and sing away while the fans who want to sit down can sit in the seated areas of the ground. The FSF believe this would be ideal for all football supporters.
However, the campaign could be over before it gains any momentum.
The 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster is this month and the 96 people who tragically lost their lives will never be forgotten. The disaster paved the way for a radical overhaul of British stadiums to make sure they were changed to be all seated stadiums to avoid any further fatalities.
Any move to bring back terracing would be met with the response that another disaster could happen which would be the main stumbling block if the FSF try to push the campaign.
Another would be the statistics on women and family attendance of football games.
Women make up 20 per cent of the English Premiership alones attendance with many more woman supporting their teams up and down Britain. This is double the number of women who attended football in the 90s.
Children at the football has also increased as the football grounds have become more hospitable and family friendly.
The main reason for the higher attendance from women and kids however is safety as grounds are much safer than they were in the 80s and early 90s are there are strict rules and regulations to ensure the safety of the supporters.
The debate will go on if safe standing areas should be introduced however, unless the FSF can prove that there is no chance of another Hillsborough , safe standing areas in football grounds will stay as only a debate heard in the local pub or stadiums up and down Britain.