Safe Standing


#1

Every season we seem to be asked about our feelings on safe standing and for at least the last three years the vote appears to be a big yes for the lower stand behind the goals to create a bit of atmosphere for the ground and also generate a bit of passion for the player’s, is this ever going to happen or will we just keep being asked how we feel about it ?


#2

I believe I saw somewhere that we can’t have it for the foreseeable future due to us having had a (semi) recent 3 year stint in the Championship.


#3

Haha how recent does it need to be? 14 years ago now. I think the club don’t want to test the rules and risk a) having the stand shut b) losing the bit of money they get from hosting FA manager gatherings. We wont be a leader on this.


#4

How have Scunthorpe managed to get away with a standing area for so long?


#5

Doubt the club would risk losing the international games (and revenue) the FA bestow on us…


#6

Forgot the international games as well. However, the point of real rail seating is to be convertible and multi-use. Dortmund probably the best example of this in the world.


#7

I don’t believe they’ve had 3 consecutive seasons in the Championship.


#8

Shrewsbury are seemingly leading the way with this, having ripped out and installed safe standing.


#9

Think it would make a massive difference to the atmosphere - a real no brainer. Surely if switching from sitting to standing is easy there should be no problem?


#10

The problem would be if you look at the above video link (Calculator) there would be a cost to this obviously the need for the new seats like at Shrewsbury, Celtic etc and that outlay is probably the stumbling block , but with the added atmosphere the team would produce better performances and hence better results accumulating to bigger attendance and more revenue


#11

The shrewsbury safe standing area has been paid for by their fans.
Can’t see our lot dipping their hands in their pockets for anything other than another pint.


#12

The current legislation prevents us changing the seats back to standing or rail seats, we had to become all seater after having 3 seasons in the Championship, not consecutive.
Scunthorpe haven’t had 3 seasons in the championship so do not need to change.
Shrewsbury have changed the seats to rail as they have not been in the championship for 3 seasons and the fans were paying for them they could afford to swop, they will need more staff to steward the area and they have not increased the capacity as it was a straight swop.


#13

Yes, thems the rules. But I feel at some point a club will make the swap and be willing to fight (in court probably) for the rules to change. Maybe that will be the Baggies (they have seemed quite keen in the past), but it wont be us.


#14

Thought Scunthorpe had, had 3 seasons in the second tier but because they got relegated at the end of the third they never changed to seats? However if they were to be promoted again they would either have to fit seats or close the stand?


#15

But does the legislation state how long we have to remain an all seater stadium or is that a permanent now we’ve spent 3 seasons in the Championship ?


#16

Yes it is permanent or until the legislation changes.
HM Government is open to a consultation on making changes so let’s see what happens.


#17

Oh right didn’t know that thank’s for your knowledge, not as simple as we all thought it might be then eh


#18

The frustrating aspect for me is that the club don’t seem to be prepared to take it further. They obviously can’t break the law but what they could do is question and challenge the law.

One of the key principles of law is that we are all supposed to stand equal before it.

This hugely arbitrary qualification of three consecutive years in the championship at some point since 1990 makes a mockery of this principle. It prejudices a club like Walsall and favours a club like Shrewsbury when in reality there is absolutely no difference in the two clubs current set of circumstances.

If the club were at all serious in taking this forward they could collaborate with clubs in a similar position (Crewe, Stockport, Vale, Grimsby, Tranmere) and present a case.

That case would be strengthened by Brentford’s successful challenge based upon their “unique” circumstances. Brentford could go up to six seasons at Championship or higher level and have retained terracing at Griffin Park because they are building a new ground (which from a distance makes Petrocelli’s efforts look prolific). It isn’t as though they would be short of potential local landlords for a season or two, but they gained legal exemption because they built a case which was accepted. Why can’t we, along with the other clubs I mention do the same?

In fact Brentford’s exemption rubs these clubs noses in it as our collective compliance with the law has undoubtedly harmed not only the finances of each club but has also detrimentally impacted the very character and essence of these provincial sporting arenas. Is it any co-incidence that many of the small clubs who were forced to implement this rule have suffered substantially since?

To me the law needs to be clearer and more importantly fairer. The provenance of the law is the Taylor Report which post Hillsborough concluded that standing at football contains inherent risk which can only be fully mitigated by making grounds all-seater. I think that the subsequent invention of rail-seating challenges that conclusion as does the post-Taylor football experience that demonstrates that all seater does not mean all-sitting and that there is potentially risk to life and limb by having large crowds standing in seated areas. So surely we can now conclude that some types of standing are safer than others and at the extreme of that (the polar opposite of the circumstances presented at Hillsborough in1989) is rail seating which is far safer than traditional terracing and indeed far safer than standing in areas designed for sitting in.

To make this equitable and fair, you just apply a ground criteria at the top of the game in the same way it is applied at every level up until you get to promotion between league two and League one (to get into league two you need a capacity of at least 4,000 with 500 seated). So I’d say that get up between League one and the Championship you need a capacity of 10,000 either totally seated or a mixture of seats and “safe standing” rail seats. This would be far fairer and transparent and completely in line with how football works in the dozen or so steps beneath the football league.

The point I’m making is that there is a case to be made, people who would work with us and an opportunity to once again set the pace around some important (to ostensibly blue-collar clubs like us) stuff rather than accept our recent persona of done-to laggards saying “there’s nothing we can do. It’s complicated” and shrugging our shoulders at anything that might sound a bit innovative.


#19

How can the supporter’s help move this along or is it something that has got to be left to the club to find out ?
It would be good if we could get the club to look into it , we desperately need to do something to raise the atmosphere at the ground it’s not good and the player’s have got to be feeling the same when they can hear every little criticism from the sideline’s , i can remember the day’s when Fellow’s Park was rocking it used to make me want to go back each match and be a part of the club and feel a little pride to think the away support used to say what an atmosphere the Walsall fan’s produced , and good support we gave the team’s then
.Arrrh the good old day’s


#20

And that @RedandWhite was because it was pre Bonser :disappointed_relieved: