After a campaign described as having gone to “extra time, penalties and more than a few replays, fans groups have finally been able to declare victory after safe standing was approved for use in Premier League and Championship grounds.
Clubs in the top two flights of English football, where all-seat stadia are currently mandatory, can apply to introduce areas where fans can stand, the Sports Ground Safety Association (SGSA) has announced.
Several Premier League sides have already installed the necessary infrastructure and if their applications were approved, standing would return from 1 January.
The Football Supporters’ Association has been calling for safe standing ever since Lord Justice Taylor, after the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, issued his report on improving the safety of fans on the ground.
Chief executive, Kevin Miles, has said the decision, backed by the government, was a good one.
We were happy to finally claim a win for the FSA’s safe standing campaign after extra time, penalties and more than a few replays and postponements,” he added.
Today’s announcement was the result of prolonged and sustained campaigning by football fans a victory for ordinary people with ordinary jobs who refused to accept the Taylor Report’s contention that standing could not be managed safely.
The Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Totten ham and Wolves have installed rail seating, one model of safe standing approved by the SGSA.
Similar projects involving barriers would also be acceptable.
Arsenal are also due to consult with fans on the opportunity next week.