Safe standing for Southampton fans at St. Mary's Stadium
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Thousands of Saints fans want to stand at the match, and they must be able to do it safely and without being persecuted by stewards.
We want trials of Safe Standing using rail seats at St. Mary’s Stadium, for example in the more vocal parts of the Stadium such as the Northam and Itchen stands.
The Football Supporters Federation says:
"Every week thousands of fans stand in front of their seats for the duration of the game while following the team they love - attempts by the authorities to end this practice have failed. Surveys regularly show the vast majority of supporters back the choice to stand or sit."
Rail seats have a rail all-along between rows, with seats that can be locked in the up position for safe standing, or down if seating is required (e.g. for European matches).
Safe Standing would immediately remove conflict between stewards and fans that want to stand and those that want to sit. It would also free up stewards to focus on protecting fans and players in other ways.
The Sports Grounds Safety Authority recently authorised trials of Safe Standing to clubs in League 1 and League 2.
Rail seats allow cheaper admission prices and a stronger atmosphere in supporting Saints, as has been done at Glasgow Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.
The trial of Safe Standing in lower divisions must be extended to include the top two divisions, and include Southampton FC.
We ask that Southampton FC publicly supports trials of Safe Standing and informs the Premier League, Southampton City Council and the St. Mary's Stadium Safety Advisory Group that they intend to do so.
* Image By David Ingham, used under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10652798
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