Is it time we allowed standing at football again?

Harry DavisPR Manager
May 29, 2019, 2:07 PM GMT+0

Nearly two-thirds of MPs believe safe-standing should be allowed in English football's top two tiers, a new YouGov survey finds

Seating has been compulsory in the top two tiers of English football since the start of the 1994-95 season, at the recommendation of the report into the Hillsborough disaster where 96 supporters lost their lives.

But those who regularly attend matches will know that attempts to stop persistent standing have had little impact, and fans have repeatedly voted for a repeal of the law.

An official review into safe-standing is due to be published imminently, coming after a debate in Parliament triggered by a petition signed by over 110,000 people.

A survey of 100 MPs by YouGov suggests that there is a good chance the law could change if put to a vote. YouGov’s survey found that 62 per cent of MPs are in favour of safe-standing, with just 22% against and 15% undecided. Among those who consider themselves football fans, support rises to three quarters.

Countries such as France, Scotland and the Netherlands have lifted a ban on standing in recent years and an increasing number of clubs in England have looked into adopting safe-standing solutions, such as rail seating.

YouGov also asked more than 2,000 British adults what they thought about the return of legal standing areas in England's top two leagues, and nearly half backed the idea, with only one in six against a change in the law.

Among those who said they have an interest in football, the number in favour leapt to seven out of ten, and for those who said they have a particularly strong interest in the game that number increased to almost eight out of ten.

With both public and legislators moving in favour of a change, it may only be a matter of time before we see safe-standing again in England.

See the full MPs results here and general public results here.

Image: Getty