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Standing... Back to the future?

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I just read about a bill to be submitted regarding reintroducing terracing to football stadia and wondered what Toffeewebbers thought about it.

"Don Foster, MP for Bath, today introduced a Bill in the House of Commons which if passed into law would allow the return of standing-only terraces at all football grounds including the Premier League. Lib Dem Foster introduced the Private Members Bill under the Ten Minute Rule. Among other MPs sponsoring the bill were Kate Hoey, Mike Hancock, Bob Russell and Greg Mulholland. The Bill (the Safe Standing ? Football Stadia ? Bill 2010-11) successfully passed this, the first stage, in its long jouney to the statute books; its Second Reading will be debated on 17 June 2011."

My view is it would be a cheap way of creating extra capacity and would produce a better atmosphere but would it enhance or detract from the matchday experience?
Jay Harris, Liverpool and Florida     Posted 08/12/2010 at 18:00:30

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Nelaj Behajiha
1   Posted 08/12/2010 at 20:57:02

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Great idea, mate, I hate sitting down at matches. I find it a pain in the arse, literally, having to stand up and sit down really does my head in. Also as I'm quite tall and have long legs, I hate having my knees pushed up against the seat in front of me.

Personally, I'd love to stand, far more comfortable, it's better for people's health to stand up ? at least they're active rather than sitting down all the time. Look at the Poznan fans bouncing away at Manchester City. I've got to say it looked excellent on TV.

No reason why it should be re-introduced as people do it every week anyway without serious injuries being caused.

James Doran
2   Posted 08/12/2010 at 20:53:35

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Does the bill propose that each supporter will be allocated an inanimate cage to stand in and watch the match from?
Mark Billing
3   Posted 08/12/2010 at 21:31:18

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It's a private members bill so there' s no chance of it being passed, unfortunately.

James ? an 'inanimate cage' ? eh? What other types of cages are available, and why would a supporter need one? Apologies in advance if I'm being slow and missing something obvious in your post ? it's my advanced years.
Dick Fearon
4   Posted 08/12/2010 at 22:15:56

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With good modern secure control barriers and a bit of thought, I see no reason why the lower stand areas of the ground could not return to standing only.

Unlike Nelag (#1), not everyone is blessed with long legs, in that case, the terracing would need to be higher.

Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 08/12/2010 at 22:14:23

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If you can have 150,000 people jumping around in a saturated field to a rock band, why can't we have terraces in the Premier League?

'High profile' pundits like Lawrensen speak out against them as a "return to the dark days" which is no more than hyperbole from a Liverpool player from an era where it is impossible to be pro-terracing.

You have terraces down the league, in the States, brilliant terracing technology in Germany, terraces in other sports around the world with perfect safety record, yet there's a sinister cloud placed over their return for no reason than to give people a raison d'etre.

Nothing will go forward with this until the Hilsborough review, though, and I doubt they will get the go ahead as the EPL don't want the less savoury chants and language to affect the desire of sponsors to be associated with football. I'd imagine chants of the more prejudicial nature returning. Still, it would help facilitate football returning to the people.
Ian Smitham
6   Posted 08/12/2010 at 22:28:01

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At the time all seater was introduced in a different era it may well have been right. For me, not the tallest, seating suits.

However, having seen our boys while wearing blue in the Kop and ditto the Kippax and Stretford End (not in blue-except the Altrincham game), I am convinced that those type of stands have no place. One moment you are with friends, the next praying that you are in control of your destiny but knowing you are not.

That said, I also recall standing in the Main Stand at Goodison in a then new area (the family area now) with many safety features, mainly crash barriers that prevented swirling crowds. Also experienced the same in the "Scoreboard" at OT and I think that both were safe (from crushes anyway).

In conclusion, for those that want it, I believe that there is a case for lower cost facilities for watching the game standing, and I for one hope that this gets through. Though I doubt it.
Jimmy Hacking
7   Posted 09/12/2010 at 00:13:36

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I'm not really in favour of standing at footy games. It won't be any cheaper, and who wants to stand up for two hours? It's not a rock and roll gig.

I find it particularly annoying when our team scores and everybody in front of me rises to their feet in unison, forcing ME to stand up also, just to see what is going on! Cheeky beggars. Very inconsiderate that.
Laurie Hartley
8   Posted 09/12/2010 at 10:15:45

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Jimmy # 7

"I find it particularly annoying when our team scores" ? is this a wind-up?
Michael Evans
9   Posted 09/12/2010 at 10:32:15

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Laurie@8 - "...when our team scores" is not a wind-up ... lately it's just been a fantasy.
David S Shaw
10   Posted 09/12/2010 at 10:33:41

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But it is worth noting that, in making his recommendations, Lord Taylor believed that fans would become accustomed to sitting and come to prefer it.

20 years later, thousands of fans in the Premier League and the Championship demonstrate that this is not the case.

And when fans stand in all-seater stadia today, it causes problems: It ruins the experience for those who want to sit. But equally, for many fans who prefer to stand, sitting ruins their experience.

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. And it can be done.

Countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany are certainly not negligent towards their citizens' safety. Yet these countries have harnessed technological developments to create standing areas that are safe. They are a popular choice with supporters.

Read more:

Above is more extracts from the bill.

nb: Jimmy Hacking ? that part is relevant to your point
Brian Lloyd
11   Posted 09/12/2010 at 11:30:47

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I would like to have the option of standing as I feel the overall atmosphere/humour at matches has never been the same since all seating was introduced (bar a few exceptions) ? even if it meant missing out on the 90 minutes uninterupted kip I've been getting lately.
Shaun Brennan
12   Posted 09/12/2010 at 15:00:59

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They ought to pass a bill where you can be in the view of the pitch with a beer in hand.

I went to Twickenham again last weekend and sat watching the rugger buggers whilst enjoying a nice over-priced pint in a plastic cup without the fear of getting ejected/prosecuted.

Same type of experience ? spectator sport ? except drinking and watching the match is allowed in Rugby stadia.

We are all equal... except some are more equal than others.

Steve Pugh
13   Posted 09/12/2010 at 16:03:12

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If it is done properly then a return to terracing in some parts of the stadium will be fantastic. I am sure that it will improve the atmosphere at Goodison, and will allow the more relaxed supporters to sit and enjoy the game without having their view blocked by their more excitable brethren.

Can we not make all of the stands with blocked views into terraces? The financial effect of the pillars will be reduced dramatically.
Dave Roberts
14   Posted 09/12/2010 at 18:35:40

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There are ways of making terracing perfectly safe and all seater stadia was never only about safety... it was also about the ability to pick out shoulders for the bobbies to lay a hand on.

If anything scuppers this idea, apart from 'lack of parliamentary time', it will be just that. The thin blue line will object. Can't have those nasty lower class football hooligans running around the terraces now, can we?
Dave Roberts
15   Posted 09/12/2010 at 18:40:36

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Steve Pugh

Good idea in principle about the restricted views but with one (big) proviso. Most of the obstucted views are in the Upper Bullens and Upper Gladdy. Don't fancy those as standing areas....they'd collapse during the first game!

During one of the European games two years ago, the away supporters were jumping up and down in unison. The whole upper Bullens was swaying like a ship in a hurricane. I was shitting myself!
Dennis Stevens
16   Posted 09/12/2010 at 19:49:55

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I'm all in favour of safe standing areas, though not the great banks of terracing of yester-year. It would give greater choice to supporters & would a provide a better match-day experience for not only those who prefer to stand but also for those who prefer to sit without people standing in front of them. General standing areas are common at many big concerts & often with less control of the crowd than there used to be at football gounds in the 'bad old days'. As usual, football supporters get a poor deal.
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 10/12/2010 at 07:26:08

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This will never happen because wtih a seat number and name attached you can pick out a culprit should anything untoward happen. Sadly not a chance, I hate sitting down to watch football.
David S Shaw
18   Posted 10/12/2010 at 09:20:22

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Stephen Kenny, one of the options in the proposal would be to still allocate you a seat/position. It would in effect be having an area to stand up in front of your seat. It's based on the German models, I think there's two types of safe standing models, the other would give you that bit more freedom to move next to your mates.
Andy Crooks
19   Posted 10/12/2010 at 23:58:00

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Standing at football is a return to the dark ages. As a kid, I was almost killed in a crush at an international match. How a grown man cannot sit and watch a game is beyond me. Do those in favour not see that another disaster is inevitable?
David S Shaw
20   Posted 11/12/2010 at 17:56:35

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Andy Crooks- ignoring that fans do currently stand and will continue to stand shows that the authorities are living in the dark ages.

Standing happens, therefore they should take every possible step to ensure it is safe to do so.

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