|Ealing Road terrace|
The Football Supporters’ Federation has started a campaign to try and make people aware of the differences between old-style English football terraces and modern standing accommodation, with a possible view to installing safe standing throughout football stadia in England.
The FSF refers to the ‘rail seating’ used in Germany and points out that this kind of terracing is enjoyed by clubs and fans alike, and “which is passed safe by the Bundesliga”.
John Darch, an FSF member, told The Guardian, “We have to help people understand we are not talking about bringing back old-style terraces……..
English football’s top two divisions have been without terracing since, largely, 1994. The Taylor Report, at the time, was seen to be blaming terraces for the ninety-six innocent people who lost their lives, but it is now believed that it was actually the fault of South Yorkshire Police and the fences around the stadium.
There are still terraces in English football, most notably at Scunthorpe United in the Championship. Standing areas are also quite frequently found in Leagues One and Two, as well as in non-league football.
The FSF argues that terracing would not only add to the enjoyment of a football match for many (as most fans stand at games, anyway) and improve the atmosphere (as you are more likely to sing, chant and generally make a noise if you are stood up), but it would also be cheaper for the fans.
A Premier League football match costs around thirty to forty pounds for a single ticket. In the Bundesliga, to see, say, Borrussia Dortmund (currently top in Germany’s top division) it costs around £12 to stand. On average, the price to stand and watch a Bundesliga match is £10.50-£12.20, around a quarter of the standard prices for seats at top English Premier League clubs.
Of course, terracing in football always stirs up images of Hillsborough, amongst other disasters. Those innocent ninety-six should not be forgotten and the incident opened the eyes of The FA and English football.
The FSF, though, is simply stating that safe standing in English football should at least be up for debate. Some have come out and supported the campaign, while others are strongly against it.
But, what is your view? As a fan, do you want to see terracing back in football? Or are you happier in the safer seating arrangements?
This article originally appeared on sports website Sports Haze, which is now unfortunately defunct.