The issue of standing at grounds is becoming an increasingly popular topic of discussion. StandUpSitDown has been campaigning to re-introduce carefully managed sections of grounds where standing is allowed, while The Guardian did a point-counterpoint that mostly contrasted the obvious benefits to Premiership match atmosphere versus the greatly increased chance of having your face punched in by some lout.
West Bromwich East Labour MP Tom Watson contacted CaughtOffside to find out what we and our readers thought as a motion to bring back standing at grounds is currently passing through the House of Commons:
That this House urges the Government to re-examine the case for introducing small, limited sections of safe standing areas at football grounds; further urges the Government to recognise that there is widespread support for such areas, and that improvements in stadium design and technology mean that with rigorous safety specifications standing areas could be safely re-introduced; and calls on the Minister concerned to convene a meeting of representatives of the police, supporters, Premier League clubs and the Football Licensing Authority to find a way forward.
Interesting that one of the arguments is that safety will no longer be an issue in modern times, but one would probably have thought the same logic applied to coin throwing.
But would a standing section really be a benefit to all stadiums and see the return of the “true supporter? Or would the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal still struggle to create the kind of atmosphere that their formidable stadiums deserve? Will being able to stand suddenly mean that Chelsea generate the kind of noise that Portsmouth supporters do, rather than being scolded by Jose Mourinho for sitting in silence?
So let us know what you think about bringing standing back to football grounds or head over to Labour MP Tom Watson’s website and let him know yourself.