Burnley back trial for safe-standing

Rail seats in sun in Hanover. Photo: Stadionwelt.de

Rail seats in sun in Hanover. Photo: Stadionwelt.de

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Burnley were one of the clubs to back a motion in support of trials for safe-standing areas within grounds at the Football League’s AGM in Portugal last Friday.

And the Football League board will now look into how to progress things after a majority of its member clubs supported the issue.

In total, 55 out of the 72 clubs raised their hands up in favour - so many, that there was no call for abstentions or votes against.

The vote reflects the growing call for trials of small safe-standing areas similar to those used in the Bundesliga in Germany.

It would require the Government to agree a change in the law for such a step, and though the League’s board has an element of hesitancy on the issue, the fact more than two thirds of clubs across the three divisions, including a majority of Championship clubs, means the campaign is beginning to get a head of steam.

In February, Championship clubs voted to “encourage and support the instigation of a rail seat/safe-standing trial period at any League club wishing to run such a trial.”

In November, Burnley’s supporters’ clubs and chief executive Lee Hoos first stated their support for the move.

At the Supporters’ Clubs’ Forum monthly meeting, the proposals put forward by the Football Supporters’ Federation to allow a trial were discussed.

The result of the discussion was a unanimous vote in favour of not only supporting the proposals, but, along with Clarets Mad, acting as a contact point between the FSF and the club. Those present, who all voted in favour, were Burnley Football Supporters’ Club, Colne Clarets, London Clarets, North Manchester Clarets, Rossendale Clarets and West Yorkshire Clarets.

Hoos told the FSF: “While we must emphasise that persistent standing in all-seater stadia such as Turf Moor is against ground regulations, we recognise that a not insignificant number of our fans prefer to watch football standing.

“Having studied the ‘rail-seat’ concept, we believe that this has merit and may provide a suitable way to enable clubs such as ours to satisfy the demand for safe standing areas in the future. We therefore support the FSF in calling on the Government to permit a few small-scale trials.”

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