Safe-standing debate goes to Parliament as over 110,000 sign petition


Richard Conway explains Shrewsbury Town’s plans for safe standing

Safe-standing in the Premier League and Championship will be debated in Parliament on 25 June.

It comes after a successful petition to the UK government, which was signed by over 110,000 people.

The government said earlier this month there were no plans to change the all-seater policy after West Brom had a safe-standing proposal rejected.

Standing in English football’s top two divisions was outlawed by the Football Spectators’ Act in 1989.

It came following recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

West Brom, who are currently bottom of the Premier League, proposed a pilot scheme that would have meant 3,600 seats in the Smethwick End were converted to ‘rail seats’, which can be locked in an upright position.

It was rejected by the government, and the Football Supporters’ Federation responded by saying sports minister Tracey Crouch was “declaring war on fans”.

The Premier League asked for more evidence before it could be allowed at top-flight stadiums.

League One promotion chasers Shrewsbury received delivery of new safe-standing rail seats which they plan to install at their stadium this summer.

Jon Darch of campaign group Safe Standing Roadshow told BBC Sport: “We could have a situation where Shrewsbury and West Brom are in the same league – but one has been given permission for rail seating and the other has not.”

After the petition reached the 100,000 mark, the FSF said in a statement: “We would like to thank every last fan who signed the petition and helped take standing to Parliament – the sheer number of fans involved shows the strength of feeling on an issue that isn’t going away.”

Sports minister Crouch said she was “grateful” for fans “expressing their views on this issue”.



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