Is it safe to go to a football game

    • the latest clubs from brentford, qpr and wolves confirm they will have a secure footing in the games
    • follow cardiff city, chelsea, manchester city, manchester united and tottenham hotspur acting as ‘adoptors early’ on trial last season
    • wembley stadium is set to offer a small licensed standing area for fans at domestic matches as the government delivers on its manifest commitment

    The government has confirmed that first division and championship clubs wishing to introduce authorized “safe stay” areas in football stadiums will be able to do so from the start of the upcoming 2022/23 season.

    brentford, queens park rangers and wolverhampton wanderers will be the first clubs to join cardiff city, chelsea, manchester city, manchester united and tottenham hotspur in offering licenses in designated seating areas for home and away fans.

    Reading: Is it safe to go to a football game

    other clubs are expected to adopt authorized standing areas during the course of the football season.

    Iconic Wembley Stadium will also offer a small licensed standing area for fans at upcoming domestic matches later this season.

    culture secretary, nadine dorries said:

    We want the experience of watching football to be as magical as playing on the pitch.

    Fans will now be able to cheer on their team from a seat or join others in a safe standing section to really root for the players and roar their heroes to victory.

    We are not reintroducing terraces and only clubs that meet strict safety criteria will be allowed. Thanks to sound judgment, extensive testing, and modern engineering, we are now ready to allow ourselves to stand on our grounds once again.

    sports minister nigel huddleston said:

    Based on what I’ve experienced and what we’ve learned through the pilot program, the safe position is set to deliver an electrifying atmosphere in our soccer stadiums.

    Fans have long campaigned for its introduction and we have worked carefully with supporter groups, including families affected by the tragic hillsborough football disaster.

    I am proud of the work that has gone into this rigorous process and that we have delivered on our stated commitment to get fans back on their feet in stadiums.

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    The stadiums have been selected after an application process, open to all the grounds covered by the parking space policy, led by the sports ground security authority (sgsa). Strict conditions have been met, including enhanced use of CCTV, enhanced delegate training, and strict limitation of fans to “one person, one space.” clubs have also engaged with fans as part of their application process.

    A final report on last season’s government commissioned trial at pioneering clubs has concluded that the installation of barriers or rails in areas of persistent footing in seated areas had a positive impact on spectator safety and enhanced the match day experience for fans. in both the home and away sections. the report recommends that clubs should be given the opportunity to implement licensed standing areas as soon as possible.

    an interim report on the trial, published by the sports ground security authority (sgsa) in april, found that:

    • goal celebrations are more orderly with no ability for fans to move back and forth, reducing the risk of fans falling on those around them;
    • barriers that offer stability for people moving through the aisles and walkways;
    • laggards can more quickly access their seats in the middle of the rows, since others are already standing and have barriers against those to lean on to allow them to pass;
    • pockets that overcrowding are easier for security officers to identify, as fans are lined up more clearly

    the final report concludes:

    • fan exit from stadiums is more uniform because barriers limit the ability of spectators to climb over seats to exit more quickly;
    • spectators line up with greater clarity and therefore any risk of overcrowding can be identified, particularly using cctv;
    • delegates can be placed in more locations without risk of affecting lines of sight;
    • there is no evidence to date that the introduction of authorized standing areas has led to an increase in standing elsewhere in the stadiums

    The announcement was made by sporting minister nigel huddleston at tottenham hotspur’s white hart lane stadium, after joining fans in the club’s 10,000-person secure standing area to watch the northern club london win 1-0 against burnley on may 15.

    Sports Field Safety Authority Executive Director Martyn Henderson Obe said:

    We welcome the controlled return of the modern age, made possible through very close collaboration with the government.

    This is a historic moment for football and, more importantly, for the fans who have campaigned for this change and who will be safer as a result of today’s decision.

    Football Fans Association CEO Kevin Miles said:

    fans who attend games know that the benefits of standing safely are enormous, with better environments and more options for fans, whether they prefer to sit or stand.

    the fsa has always advocated that football clubs should be able to talk to their fans and work together to find the ideal combination of seating and standing at each club. that’s now possible and it’s no surprise that more clubs are already looking to join last season’s early adopters and install their own safe standing areas.

    senior research manager at cfe research, jo welford said:

    Over the last three years, we have been able to collect evidence from a variety of terrains and have seen that the installation of barriers, in addition to being able to run these areas as authorized permanent sections, has a positive impact on the safety of fans who are in attendance. I stand by what seems like a logical conclusion from this paper to see a policy change that allows this across all of football.

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    Barriers along each row are effective in preventing fans from falling forward and therefore the main benefit is reduced risk of injury during goal celebrations. but there are other benefits as well: fans in those areas have something to hold on to for stability, and it’s harder for people to move in sections. we surveyed fans in those areas and the vast majority said feeling safe, feeling well protected by barriers and being able to stand and watch the football without being asked to sit has also improved the match day experience.

    cardiff city, chelsea, manchester city, manchester united and tottenham hotspur participated in the early adopter program during the second half of the 2021/2022 season. A 2-2 draw on January 2 between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge kicked off the test events.

    Under authorized standing, fans may stand during games in assigned spaces behind a barrier or railing in permanent standing areas. each supporter must occupy the same area that he would occupy if he were seated, with a numbered and traceable ticket.

    Seats cannot be locked in the up or down position, so fans can sit if they wish, and the standing areas cannot affect the view of other fans. other parts of the ground remain seated and fans are expected to sit in these areas.

    standing areas are already common in the german bundesliga and there are similar examples in the rest of europe, the united states and australia.

    The necessary legislative amendments to the football spectator law have been tabled in parliament today (July 4).


    notes to editors:

    • The evaluation of the early adopter program has been carried out independently by CFE Research. the final evaluation report will be published on the sgsa website on july 4th. sgsa is working to ensure that the small number of modest risks included in the cfe research report are addressed when issuing the licences.

      since the last general election, the sports ground safety authority (sgsa) has commissioned an independent investigation into the safe management of standing in football. The findings, published in June 2021, indicated that installing seats with barriers in front of them would have a positive impact on crowd safety, in light of the persistence of standing in stadium seating areas. football.

      Early Adoption Criteria and Support Guidance set forth the standards that must be met, including standards for seating that incorporates freestanding barriers/barriers. This information is available through the sgsa website:

      The five clubs in the trial were the first in the top two tiers of football to be licensed to safely stand in designated seating areas for home and away fans. They were selected after an application process, open to all grounds covered by the all seats policy, led by the sports ground safety authority (sgsa).

      The implementation of the licensed safe position is the latest measure by the government to support football fans across the country. commissioned a fan-led review of football governance in, chaired by tracey crouch mp. In April 2022, the government announced plans to radically overhaul the governance of men’s football in England and ensure a sustainable future for the national game. a white paper is expected to be published later this summer.

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