Myth: "Clubs want to build all-seater grounds"

The fact that clubs below the Championship have built all-seater stadia despite there being no requirement for them to do so is cited by some opponents of safe standing as 'proof' that clubs are against standing and don't want to give their fans the option to stand.

Such opponents merrily overlook the fact that the grounds at many lower-league clubs became all-seater as a result of the clubs receiving funding for their stadium development projects from the Football Foundation, who stipulate that grounds must be all-seater as a condition of their financial support.

It is, therefore, disingenuous to suggest that clubs have chosen this route because they believe sitting is a better model than standing. To get the funding, they had no choice.

However, despite losing out on such funding, some clubs have listened to their fans and resisted the pressure to go all-seater. Morecambe and Gateshead, for instance, are two examples of clubs who have recently elected to forego the Football Foundation money and build new stadia with standing areas.

Had Football Foundation funding been available over the last two decades to assist with the cost of stadium developments that included areas of safe standing using rail seats, it is impossible to know how many clubs would have chosen such designs. However, as football clubs, like any 'business', naturally seek to keep their customers happy and as a significant number of their customers want the option to stand, it can be assumed that many would have done so. Faced with the prospect of no funding, it is not surprising, however, that most felt they had no option but to build all-seater stadia and it is thus impossible to say that they did so because they were opposed to standing. They did so because there was no money on offer to do otherwise!


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