Football clubs in the top divisions will be allowed to introduce safe standing areas into their grounds, under manifesto plans unveiled today by the Liberal Democrats. Safe standing already operates in domestic leagues across Europe, including Germany, Austria and Sweden and is backed by 92% of football fans and 70% of football clubs in the UK.
Under the plans clubs in the Premier League and Championship would be allowed to work with their supporters to introduce standing areas, which provide better atmospheres and allow clubs to offer cheaper safe standing season tickets.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Culture, Media & Sport John Leech MP said: “The Liberal Democrats believe football clubs should be allowed to introduce safe standing areas where there is a desire to do so. Safe standing is allowed in many other sports and we do not believe that the top level of football should be an exception. We are not calling for a return of the terraces of the 1980s. Modern safe standing areas using ‘rail seating’ operate very successfully in top tier football across Europe."
“When clubs&fans are in favour of safe standing and it can be done safely, then the Government shouldn’t get in the way. That is why Liberal Democrats want to change the law to let clubs introduce safe standing. Safe standing offers supporters more choice, a better atmosphere and cheaper tickets. It is an idea whose time has come and I am proud that it is the Liberal Democrats who are the first political party to commit to delivering this.”