A reported nine out of 10 football fans want safe standing introduced, and today the Welsh Conservatives renewed their campaign to see this happen.
Party Leader, Andrew RT Davies, has long led the call for a safe standing pilot in Wales but in today’s YouTube video announcement he is now calling for the devolution of responsibility for sports ground safety management to the Welsh Assembly.
If the government grant this responsibility for stadium safety it would enable a Welsh Conservative Government to lift the ban on standing areas and introduce a safe standing pilot in Wales.
Mr Davies said:
“Our plans would allow a limited pilot of safe standing areas in Welsh grounds.
“Advances in stadium technology have made stadiums a far more safe and comfortable environment for fans of all ages, genders and backgrounds. In fact it’s those advances which make ‘safe’ standing areas a straightforward proposition.
“Safe standing is a question of fairness. How can it be safe to stand at a rugby match or a concert yet somehow inherently unsafe to stand at the football – often in the same stadiums?
Every week around the UK, thousands upon thousands of fans stand in front of their seats, but hopefully today’s announcement and recognition from a major political party will bring about change so that supporters who want to stand will hopefully soon be able to do so in a safe environment.
With the plans of the Welsh Conservatives, and with Glasgow Celtic getting permission to install rail seating this summer, it seems that concerted efforts are being made from the Home Nations. Such trials will hopefully only further strengthen the case for similar trials to take place in England where there is a bit more resistance at present.
For many reasons we look at the German Bundesliga as a blueprint for football with cheap tickets, fantastic atmosphere in the grounds and safe standing. There is still a long road to go, but today is another step in the right direction.
As Torsten Koar, Supporters Liason Officer at Hannover 96, said when we were in Germany:
“I can’t imagine a stadium without standing, that’s not football.
It makes me sad (that there is no standing in England), because England is
the motherland of football. The English style of football in particular needs fans like this.”