Fully investigate introducing safe standing at all football stadia in England and Wales
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This petition is to request the government study and report on the potential implementation of safe standing to football grounds in England and Wales.
Tracey Crouch dismissed the request of West Bromwich Albion to install safe standing at their Hawthorns ground without any proper explanation or apparent research into the subject.
The current legislation put in place as a result of the Lord Justice Taylor Report has served its purpose of bringing about safe, immediate and wholesale changes to British football as a direct result of the Hillsborough Disaster to ensure it must never happen again.
However, that legislation is now nearly 30 years old and there is a growing need for government to review this.
All-seaters never we're fully was safe, just safer. In fact it was much safer than before but isolated incidents relating to fans standing and falling in their seating area are occurring and injuring themselves and others in the process. I myself have been injured, only minor, falling two rows down celebrating a goal.
This appears to be on the increase too but it can be prevented.
If the Sports Minister thinks this issue can be resolved by the fact that those fans shouldn't be standing I would say that would be a naive way of looking at it. For starters, how can a fan not stand celebrating a goal?
Football fans will stand. Whether they are supposed to or not. Aside from celebrations one will stand to get a better view and then those behind have no choice if they want to see the action.
Football clubs are in an impossible position of punishing fans who pay vast sums of money - for showing support, as the fans see it. Liverpool Football Club recently ejected a fan vs Watford for this. A season ticket holder. The club and its officials came under attack on social media for their actions.
The weight of feeling on this is huge on both sides. Football fans desperately feel as though their game is dying through losing its passion and the numbers behind this feeling are enormous. On average 40,000 fans attend 10 games each weekend. That's an average of nearly half a million supporters, each week.
On the other side, there are some survivors and friends and families of victims who lost their lives at Hillsborough who feel strongly against for obvious reasons. But many of these have been in consultation with groups like Spirit of Shankly and an increasing number are behind safe standing.
While some still aren't and I understand that entirely. For some it's a case of needing more information on how safe, safe standing is. For others there will always be that opposition to it which is understandable. A feeling exists that all seater was a legacy of their loved ones'. That is something I respect entirely and the changes brought about by the Taylor Report have changed the game forever, for the better. This request is to seek to improve it further. Rail seating, for example, is a legacy of the Taylor Report as there is still one seating area per supporter (but with the seat locked up).
Fact is anyway that it wasn't standing fans that caused the Hillsborough disaster. But the two forms of standing shouldn't be compared anyway as safe standing is a world away from the terraces of the 80's.
We don't feel the government has done enough to research this properly. We feel a new report on the subject would prevent the risk of serious injuries from today's match go'ers as well as improve the most popular game in our country and bring increased value for money for supporters. Furthermore as an addition to this it would strengthen the Premier League further and aid the continuation of the league being the most successful in the world as roaring stadiums have always been part of the worldwide attraction.
Germany and Scotland are currently pioneers in safe standing. It's sad to think the rest of the UK government isn't even interested in looking at what safe standing can offer and we will be 'also-rans' in this subject. Especially given the history this country has with this aspect and the game itself. Aswell as England's leading status in domestic football.
One final point is that fans of other sports in England can stand. In rugby you can stand. At music concerts, you can stand. Are footballers still being punished due to a rhetoric that is 3 decades old and is now a myth? Is it not discriminatory to only restrict football fans to seating?
In summary if you agree with all of this, please sign. It will take huge numbers to show this is something the government has to pay attention to. At the request of the people it serves, to benefit one of the largest industries in the country and most importantly to increase the safety over nearly half a million people each week.
Thank you for reading.
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