- Premier League clubs have agreed to hold further talks on safe standing after top bosses met today in London.
- Safe standing campaigner John Leech has long argued in favour of rail seating at football matches stating: "It is an idea whose time has come"
Plans to introduce safe standing have inched forward as top clubs have agreed to hold further discussions over safe standing. Safe standing campaigner John Leech has welcomed the news but has commented that safe standing "is an idea whose time has come."
Former Manchester Withington MP, John Leech, has long campaigned in favour of safe standing with the introduction of rail seating, and his plans, released in 2014, would dramatically improve safety at football matches, as well as help cut ticket prices.
John Leech, a Manchester City season ticket holder of 34 years, has long argued that England should follow the lead of Germany, Austria and Sweden that already operate safe standing, stating: "The current system simply doesn’t work; fans who attend matches still continue to stand, but do so unsafely. The solution is to introduce safe standing at football grounds which will make it safer for spectators, and which recognises and accommodates those fans who already, and will continue in the future to stand, while watching football.”
A survey by national fans group The Football Supporters Federation found 92% of fans were in favour of the introduction.
The safe standing campaigner, Mr Leech continued: "Safe standing offers supporters more choice, a better atmosphere and cheaper tickets. It is an idea whose time has come and I'm disappointed further progress hasn't been made today, but I am pleased to hear that it hasn't been ruled out and it will continue to be investigated.
Mr Leech added that clubs should look at Celtic Park in Glasgow to see how successfully it has been implemented there, but standing has been banned in English football's top two divisions since 1989 when 96 people died in the Hillsborough Disaster.
Safe standing campaigner, John Leech added: “Modern football is also expensive to watch, and numerous studies shows that prices are only going to increase. We should be ensure to improve safety with rail seating but also maintain that fans are not priced out. Safe standing is the way to tackle this."
Football Supporters' Federation campaign co-ordinator Peter Daykin said: "Fans have been asking for this to be looked at for many years now and it’s great to see clubs are willing to discuss it. Clubs have no doubt seen how well safe standing has been working at Celtic and the value it’s bringing to Celtic Park."