Dec 11: The Case for Safe Standing in Football
Tuesday December 11th 2012 saw over 60 football club executives, Members of Parliament, safety experts and journalists come together in Portcullis House, Westminster to discuss the case 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.”
Superintendent Graham's opening remarks in full can be seen in the video below: