Sport, parks and leisure - Government turns down plans for safe standing in English top flight football...
22 Jul 2018 Sport, parks, & leisure: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

09 Apr 2018

Government turns down plans for safe standing in English top flight football
BY Tom Walker

The pilot would have seen around 3,500 seats being converted to rail seats

The pilot would have seen around 3,500 seats being converted to rail seats
photo: West Bromwich Albion

Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion (WBA) has had its proposal to establish a safe standing area at The Hawthorns stadium rejected by the government.

The pilot scheme would have seen around 3,500 seats being converted to rail seats – a system which allows seats to be locked in an upright position, creating a standing area.

The club was hoping to install the rail seating – which would have been available for both home and away areas – in time for the 2018-19 season.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch, however, has ruled out the idea – confirming there are no plans to change the all-seater policy at football stadia.

The decision was described as both "surprising" and "disappointing" by WBA's director of operations Mark Miles, who has driven the initiative to get safe standing installed at The Hawthorns.

"It will certainly be disappointing for many, many supporters I have spoken to who were in favour of what we were proposing," Miles said. "It has also been a regular topic of discussion at our Albion Assembly meetings where the members' support has been clear.

"I think the minister has taken a short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters. The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now.

"The system we proposed is well-tested across Europe and has also worked successfully at Celtic, who are governed by different legislation than in England and Wales.

"We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety.

"But I have become convinced that rail-seating would enhance safety. The club is extremely disappointed with this decision."

Miles added that the club has written back to the Sports Grounds Safety Authority urging a review.

Standing areas disappeared from major English stadiums in the 1990s as a result of the Taylor Report, which was produced in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster – a human crush during an FA Cup semi-final that caused 96 fatalities and 766 injuries.

The Taylor Report put forward 76 recommendations, including that all major stadiums should become all-seater venues and all spectators should be allocated a seat.

Standing is still permitted in the lower leagues, where capacities tend to be smaller, but clubs in the top two divisions – the English Premier League and the Championship – are required to play their games at all-seater stadiums.

There has, however, been a growing groundswell of support for the return of standing areas in recent years.

Fans, clubs, stadium operators and even safety authorities have voiced views that there could be a place for properly-designed, purpose-built ‘safe standing’ areas within modern football stadiums.

One of the seating solutions which offers the option of safe standing is the rail seating model which WBA was keen to install.

An example of how rail seating works can be found in the Scottish Premiership, where Celtic FC became the first club in the UK to install rail seating at an all-seater stadium.

In 2016, the club installed nearly 3,000 rail seats – from UK supplier Ferco – at its Celtic Park home. As well as eradicating the issue of persistent standing, the safe standing zone has been credited with improving the stadium’s atmosphere.



Connect with
Sport Parks Leisure
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
GPs urged to refer older patients for golf lessons
GPs urged to refer older patients for golf lessons   19 Jul 2018

GPs and health professionals are being urged to refer older and inactive patients for golf lessons, after a new report showed that golf builds muscle .... more>>
Airbnb offers tea in Tokyo with Kengo Kuma and tour of his under-construction Olympic stadium
Airbnb offers tea in Tokyo with Kengo Kuma and tour of his under-construction Olympic stadium   18 Jul 2018

Airbnb has offered an exclusive meet and greet with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, which will include a visit to his under-construction Tokyo Olympic .... more>>
New community fund to make Scotland "more inclusive and healthier"
New community fund to make Scotland   17 Jul 2018

Community-based sport and physical activity projects in Scotland are in line for a cash investment thanks to a new programme aimed at changing lives .... more>>
Ralph Rimmer confirmed as Rugby League CEO
Ralph Rimmer confirmed as Rugby League CEO   17 Jul 2018

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has appointed Ralph Rimmer as its new CEO. Rimmer, who has been interim CEO of the national governing body since .... more>>
TSB and Sported launch community sports programme
TSB and Sported launch community sports programme   16 Jul 2018

Sports charity Sported has teamed up with TSB Bank to launch a community sports programme looking to nurture the "next generation of community .... more>>
Company profile


Matrix Fitness

At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out and sets new industry standards.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

Matrix S-Force Performance Trainer proves hard to resist

Matrix S-Force Performance Trainer proves hard to resist

Matrix Fitness, the commercial division of Johnson Health Tech, is redefining athletic training and HIIT with the launch of its S-Force Performance Trainer. More>>




in this issue

• 'Action needed' on £21bn leisure plan
• PureGym acquires London's Soho Gyms
• Travelodege launches 'budget chic' brand



Latest jobs

Jobs Search



Business Turnaround Manager
Salary: Up to £55,000 (depending on experience) + pension
Location: Newmarket, UK
Company: The Jockey Club
Apprentice Recreation Assistant
Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum
Location: Workington, UK
Company: GLL
Catering Assistant Reading
Salary: Up to £8.75 per hour
Location: Berkshire, Reading, UK
Company: GLL
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018

MAPIC Russia

Expocentre, Moscow, Russia



Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1
Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Regeneration: High ideals
In Utah, a bunch of hip entrepreneurs is creating a crowdfunded ski resort More>>
  Thermal Spa: Taking the waters
Magali Robathan met the key people behind the Gainsborough Bath Spa More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2015 issue 1

Leisure Management
2015 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Trends: Magnus Lindkvist
The Dutch futurologist explains why the coming decade will bring huge changes for the fitness industry More>>
  Innovation: Naoko Ito
Japanese creative lab Party are behind the innovative design of Narita Airport’s Terminal 3 More>>


Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd