Date: 28th January 2018 at 7:44pm
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We all know the battle for safe standing has been gaining pace over the last few seasons but it’s now been intimated that it could be with us by next season!

However, it’s fair to say that seems to be a stretch given the strength of feeling against it given the tragedies we have seen in the game.

The campaign for a return to standing has long been growing following on from the senseless loss of life at Hillsborough and others, but of course the debate is now ‘safe standing’ with rail seats that are commonly used in the German Bundesliga and it’s arguably improved the atmosphere but it’s also perfectly safe when compared to ‘old terraces’ that we know of in the UK.

Celtic have also run a trial for the last season to great effect and Shrewsbury Town have crowd funded a section at New Meadow that will soon come into play. So for proponents of ‘safe standing’ the campaign is now really building up speed, especially as the Spirit of Shankley group voted last year overwhelmingly to continue to consider ‘safe standing’ as something for the future, with a large number of members in favour of its introduction outright.

However it does remain a thorny subject for some fans and that has to be considered given the strength of feeling but a Talksport this week implied its return could be closer than anyone thinks.

They quoted the managing director of Ferco Seating Ltd, and Michael Burnett explained that the legislation as it exists would only require some small tweaks – as opposed to new legislation itself – to enable grounds to run some real tests of rail seating at Premier League and Championship levels. Those tweaks could easily be done in time for some clubs at least to make changes ahead of next season and there are a handful of clubs who have gone public when it comes to running trials in England.

‘It could be this summer if they can get over all the regulatory hurdles. There’s certainly a couple at the moment who are looking at doing something. I know that they have spoken to the authorities and to the Football League.’

Ferco were of course the club to introduce the rail seating trial at Celtic and whilst (fair’s fair this is life) it’s self promotion for themselves, they aren’t inventing how successful that trial has been.

Celtic FC’s Supporter Liaison Officer, JP Taylor, said of the 3,000 trial.

‘It has revolutionised the atmosphere. If the stadium is not full or if the football is not particularly exciting it tended to go a bit flat. Whereas now having the standing area with three thousand people in there creating a noise every game is an experience at Celtic Park.’

It’s not just the Bundesliga that uses rail seating, the Russian Premier League also has it with CSKA Moscow introducing it to their stadium to good effect, so Burnett continued.

‘We have had them over in Germany so they could see it first hand, how the whole thing functions in a large stadium with large numbers of fans.’

Jon Darch of the Safe Standing Roadshow points out the law as it stands doesn’t actually prohibit rail seating because it’s not terracing as we know it Jim (I’m tired Star Trek fans forgive me).

‘The law gives the Secretary of State certain powers that are, in effect, discretionary. The Secretary of State could therefore lift the restriction on ground X, Y or Z.’

With Tottenham’s new ground having a break that would technically allow standing on the lower level before seats took precedence on the higher level, he continued.

‘All that would be required for them to be able to put rail seats in, even as soon as August when they open the new stadium, is for the Secretary of Sate to say ‘Yes’.’

Tottenham themselves acknowledge that the new stadium is ‘future proof’ and many believe that implies ‘safe standing proof’ that would allow a quick change to rail seats but that remains to be seen.

Of course there is another element to safe standing that often gets lost in the modern game. A great number of fans stand unsafely anyway and it often leads to, shall we say, disagreements with stewards and with a section of rail seating that would limit unneeded angst.

Burnett continues.

‘They feel that at the moment despite the fact that you are not allowed to stand, there is persistent standing at all Premier League games. So there is a belief that if you put in safe standing you will reduce persistent standing.’

Darch echoes those thoughts.

‘If you stand in front of a seat that only comes up to your ankles it is very easy to topple over it. This causes cuts and bruises and in some cases broken limbs. That would never happen with rail seating.’

Next season is a stretch, but with such a voice to ‘safe standing’ now and so many clubs being on board and open to tests akin to Celtic, it really should be only a matter of time before fans can choose whether to stand or sit.

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19 Replies to “Safe Standing By This Summer?”

  • The whole thing is a farce. If its safe in Germany then how can it be dangerous in England ? We are just the laughing stock of Europe. From a Spurs perspective it would be great if safe standing did come in sooner rather than later. The new stadium is being built with rail seats so who knows what the capacity would be with standing areas.

  • Can’t happen soon enough in my opinion. In recent years, there were times at WHL, (when seated), that it felt like I was at an open air theatre production that was attended by neutrals and tourists, too afraid to get involved, really enjoy the football and show any passion… (A bit like VS when we win). ……… Standing, will be the new sitting down!

  • The terrace ban resulting from the Hillsborough tragedy was a total disproportionate over reaction. Of course the tragedy was terrible but it was caused by mismanagement of the crowd by the police and not by terraces. I am old enough to have stood on the WHL terraces in far bigger crowds than that at Hillsborough, and unrecognisably big compared to these days. I remember as an example of many occasions a cup replay v Sunderland when there were 60, 000+ in, with no crowd trouble or safety issues. Of course the atmosphere is better when standing is allowed, as Jod quite rightly says. If it was possible for a re-introduction of “safe” standing, think of the increase it would mean in the potential gate in the new ground, we have been consistently drawing crowds at Wembley bigger than the capacity of the new stadium.

  • 2 days to go in the window, all hell breaking out throughout the PL and for the 2rd or 3rd day “Spurs are in advanced talks re Moura but have yet to agree a fee, his club want £23M”. What the bloody hell does Levy find to “discuss” or argue about in every transfer negotiation, every one is a “Forsyth Saga” we go on and on day after day, miss out on a few, get very few but the whole thing is a farce. No doubt Dortmund will come in now, as it has just been announced that they have agreed £60M for Aubameyang they are looking for a replacement, and have been mentioned before. Perhaps Levy is hoping somebody dives in and buys him, then he can shrug his shoulders and save face. Our transfer business in every window is simply a sick joke, how can you challenge for anything if you simply wont invest. You end up with a squad strength crisis as illustrated by our difficulty in getting a draw at Newport, thank Christ for Harry Kane. Everybody else in the top half of the PL is strengthening significantly with the usual glaring exception of THFC.

  • Frank, most ‘sources’ are now suggesting fee agreed and awaiting medical (scheduled for Tuesday). I agree though another disappointingly a late deal when Poch wishes earlier business.

    As for the article, is there a standing ban in the technical area?…Poch seems more content sat down.

    Nice one Geof! I am banned from standing in my lounge as I have a tendency to swing my fists through frustrations…. but I may be sitting behind the sofa for the United game.

  • critical_spur – ” another disappointingly a late deal”, what difference does it make ? Whenever a mid season transfer is agreed there is no pre season for the manager to introduce the player to his methods. Whether its agreed a week earlier or later makes no difference. Sign someone in the summer and timing does have an impact.

  • According to MP, this would be an early deal if it happens, and not a late one at all. Because although many supporters and VS posters have bemoaned what they thought Poch said about getting players in early in January for the benefit of the rest of this season, that is not at all what he inferred or actually said. He also mentioned, early in July. Meaning that by buying a player in this TW and/or early in the summer TW, that they then would at least be in ready for a pre-season, as opposed to ‘late’, once the season has started… And, to further outline his point, he cited Dele Alli as an example. Being bought in January to enable a full pre-season for him in July, after his loan back to MK Dons.

  • jod + HT, fair enough about the difference between Summer and winter TW, but I won’t be holding my breath for the next windows. Seems our expectations with transfers have been beaten down so much over the years, we accept there being no change to our approach, well at least I have no faith in any improvement on that front. The other point I would make is that it is patently obvious we have a squad depth issue that has needed addressing for several windows and with the stadium on the horizon and the need to achieve CL entry, add to it the time it takes newbies to adapt under Poch, imo, this TW will make absolutely zilch impact on our aspirations. I stick by my prediction of 5th….all because of our failure to address the issues via either timely or suitable recruitment.

  • Critical, it’s not only the lateness of the deal, which in itself is frustrating, it is the time it takes from start to finish with every Spurs deal. Some clubs sign players in clusters and get it done promptly, we can’t seem to do deals one at a time in a timely fashion.

  • jod, wherever the 25 mill for Moura is coming from. Funny how all the loans got sorted nice and early though.

  • Any hype or rumour that surrounds Spurs in this window is happening for all the other top 6 PL clubs too. It’s a fallacy that the other top PL clubs have gone hell for leather getting deals done for noteworthy players, left, right and centre. They haven’t. Liverpool? Sold their best player and bought one in but still haven’t replaced or improved on Coutinho as yet. Arsenal? Swapped their best player for one that was considered not good enough for Man U but also have sold Walcott and Coquelin. ManU? Yes, they have got the better deal in buying Sanchez but, nobody else. Chelsea (eventually) bought Barkley but have also been connected to every bloody CF there is but still no joy. And, by all accounts, the Ross Barkley deal was pretty much done in the summer as was Coutinho’s move to Barca… Man City? Well, (as I write), they have yet to buy anyone despite numerous speculation on several possible purchases. Spurs as yet, also no one. But if we do get Moura in, then what’s the big deal about when it was done, exactly?

  • ….. And, according to so much media gossip, all of these other ‘top 6’ clubs are apparently hastily trying to get all kinds of deals done, seemingly at the last minute. By contrast, Spurs have been calm and collected without such madness and fuss. At least according to Sky etc, who are the main culprits for stirring up what is a mostly fabricated frenzy in the 1st place. Surely we must all know this by now?

  • Guyver: That is a whopping £450m approx. that City have now spent on just 6 players since Guardiola’s arrival, just 1 day under two years ago.

    By contrast, THFC’s entire 1st team squad is now apparently worth around an estimated £687m! That is according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory (Who)? However, that is a massive £452m more than it has been said to have cost to assemble it! So, for around the same amount that City have spent under PEP on just 6 players, Spurs have bought an entire squad that finished in 2nd place in the PL last season, just above City… Knowing this, it would be seem a huge surprise and a small crime, for them not to be currently running away at the top of the PL table.

    And yet, according to some Spurs supporters our player recruitment has supposedly been bad these past few seasons! I beg to differ.

  • Correction: Spurs didn’t spend anywhere near £452m on the squad! But it is estimated to now be worth around £452m more than it has cost to put it together. …. I don’t even have as much as 452 quid to waste! ……… Money eh? Who needs it?

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