Thursday, February 23, 2017

Premier League to investigate issues around safe standing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Nov 2016

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The Premier League is to “scope out the safety, supporter, technical and legislative issues surrounding safe standing” following talks with top-flight clubs on Thursday.

One of the agenda points at a routine Premier League meeting in London was to discuss the introduction of safe standing at grounds since all-seater stadiums were made compulsory as part of the Taylor Report of 1990 in response to the Hillsborough disaster the year before.

Safe standing is widely used in mainland Europe and was also introduced at Celtic Park at the start of this season.

After Thursday’s meeting, a Premier League spokesman said: “Premier League clubs today held initial discussions on safe standing. Given that fan safety is of paramount concern, clubs are understandably cautious and there was no overall consensus on the matter.

“This is a complex and emotive topic with a number of issues, varying from club to club, which need to be considered carefully before clubs can decide if they wish to pursue any changes, including legislative, that are required to allow them the option of safe standing areas in their grounds.

“The clubs have tasked the Premier League with scoping out the safety, supporter, technical and legislative issues surrounding safe standing before any further discussions, based on the facts, can take place.”

The Football Supporters’ Federation has long been a supporter of rail terracing but the move would meet stiff opposition, not least from the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG). 

HFSG secretary Sue Roberts, whose brother was among the 96 who died at the home of Sheffield Wednesday, told BBC Sport: “We have a tendency to forget things in history. 

“I think it’s one step in the wrong direction, that will lead to another and another.

“I would hate to be still around to say I told you so.”

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