Football League clubs say 'Yes' to standing

February 6th 2014. In a landmark development for the safe standing campaign it was announced at the Football League meeting that the League executive had been mandated by the member clubs to “approach the Minister for Sport to request that the 'all-seater' stadia requirement for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation”.

This announcement came as the clubs were told how they had replied to the four questions put to them in the consultation paper on standing, which had been circulated in late 2013. 78% of clubs responding to the key question on approaching the government to seek a review of the law had said ‘Yes’.

The clubs also gave the League executive a mandate to “approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licensed in Football League grounds.”

The clubs also replied ‘Yes’ to two further questions, namely: ‘Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters in rail seating in the Championship?’ and ‘Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League One and League Two following relegation from the Championship?

This whole process at the Football League had been initiated by Bob Symns, Chief Executive of Peterborough United, who came with us to Hannover to see their rail seats in the summer of 2012 and put a motion in support of safe standing to a meeting of Championship clubs in February 2013 and to the full League AGM in May 2013.

Bob Symns (second from left) at Hannover 96

Welcoming the latest news, Bob said: “Following all the hard work and commitment that has been undertaken by the FSF, Safe Standing Roadshow and teams from the Football League and Premier League in regard to rail seating, I think the result of the safe standing consultation will prove to be a significant, sensible and safe step in the right direction on the road to bringing this extremely credible option to the public and our stadia.”

The Football League executives are now expected to begin discussions with DCMS and the SGSA in line with the mandates given to them by their member clubs.