The Case for Safe Standing in Football
The event featured a panel made up of chairman Roger Godsiff MP, Brian Doogan (Head of Media, Aston Villa), Bob Symns (Chief Executive, Peterborough United), Fiona McGee (researcher and writer), Professor Steve Frosdick (independent safety expert) and Supt. Steven Graham (W. Midlands Police).
Superintendent Graham made it clear that he believed standing did not turn decent football fans into thugs, saying “If you put a decent person on a terrace, they’re a decent person. If you put someone with criminal intent in a seated area, they’re someone with criminal intent who may misbehave. To say that just because you put someone in a standing area, they will misbehave, is fundamentally wrong.
The person who threw the coin at Rio Ferdinand threw it from a seated area. The person who jumped on the ground at Hillsborough and assaulted the goalkeeper [Sheffield Wednesday’s Chris Kirland] did so from a seated area. It wasn’t the fact they were in terraces that made them behave like that. They behaved like that because they’re morons. They behaved like that because they’re criminals.”
Mr Graham's opening remarks in full can be seen in the video below:
Contributions from others (more will follow shortly) can be viewed on our YouTube channel, i.e. contributions from:
Kate Hoey MP
Paul Goggins MP
A full report of the event can be found here on the Football Supporters' Foundation's website, while full audio of the event can be listened to here.