Safe Standing Areas and Liverpool fans

Posted by Rushian on November 30, 2006, 04:08:42 PM

Has the failure for any of the various campaigns to make ground against the establishment view that standing shouldn't return to the Premier League, been because Liverpool fans haven't been at the forefront?

There was understandable unease among much of the hardcore with the seemingly Manc-dominated Safe Standing campaign, particularly with the hypocritical "If it wasn't for the Scousers we could stand" ringing out from their own fans at games at the time. However the latest group to have a go at broaching this issue (Stand Up Sit Down) have a far more cosmopolitan make up. Unfortunately it still seems to lack that Red seal of approval and contribution.

It's been easy for far too long for those who run the clubs, the FA, the Premier League, the Football Licensing Authority etc to hide behind the Hillsborough Disaster as an excuse for not permitting standing in the top two divisions of English football.

But who are the experts on the disaster? None of those c*nts that's for sure. We're the ones who know what happened, we're the ones who know it was a failure of stewarding, a failure of policing, a failure of basic safety standards at the ground, a failure of the FA to ticket the fixture properly. It was a disaster caused by these factors and magnified by the presence of fences and pens.

We know it had nothing to do with terracing. And we have the legitimacy to tell them they're talking out of their arses and insulting the 96, and the hundreds injured and scarred for life, when they rush to use the Hillsborough Disaster as a defence shield whenever this topic arises.

The fences and pens are no longer around. Policing, stewarding and regular stadium safety checks have improved beyond comprehension compared to what was around in the 1980s.

Fans are allowed to stand in the lower divisions, fans can stand in other sports such as Rugby League and Union, fans can stand at gigs and concerts. There is clearly nothing inherently unsafe about standing or it would be banned wherever large gatherings of people come together to watch a sport/be entertained.

Research and development in Germany has even brought forward new standards in terraces with almost every club in the Bundesliga now having convertable terracing/seating.

There can be no legitimate reason for now not allowing clubs to install safe standing areas. The conditions aren't there that caused the disaster and won't return again. And fans aren't asking for whole terraces or forcing everyone to stand, but areas where those that wish to, can stand in safety.

So is it time for Liverpool fans to swing behind the latest campaign and even help lead it?

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