The Huddersfield Examiner have been running a series of articles on the issue of Safe Standing with the intention of canvasing opinion and debate.A poll is at the bottom of each online article with the simple question of whether you want Safe Standing at the John Smith’s Stadium or not...
In an ideal world, government policy would be informed by and formulated on the basis of clear evidence.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and as such, decision makers are often excessively influenced by sentiment, intuition, and expedience.
The debate about safe standing in England is no exception, with many MPs and ministers preferring to rely on outdated and/or discredited arguments to preserve the status-quo.
Perhaps the most popular of these arguments is that the Hillsborough Stadium disaster was caused by standing.
It also happens to be patently false.
In his 1990 report on the disaster, Lord Justice Taylor blamed negligent capacity management, inadequate stadium infrastructure, and poor policing for the day’s events, not standing .
In fact, Taylor specifically stated that “standing accommodation is not intrinsically unsafe.”
Taylor’s findings were subsequently echoed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel (2009 - 2012) and the second coroner’s inquest (2014 – 2016).
What’s more, these factors also played a significant role in the deaths of 43 spectators at Ellis Park, an all-seater stadium in the South African city of Johannesburg, in 2001.
We must, of course, be sensitive to the concerns of the families of the Hillsborough victims and the people of Merseyside.
But it’s important to note that of the almost 18,000 Liverpool supporters who completed Spirit of Shankly’s safe standing survey last summer, 88% expressed their support for the introduction of safe standing areas in English stadia.
Those supporters made their decision based on decades of evidence from Germany and other countries which suggests that rail-seating areas are perfectly safe for those who wish to stand, and certainly safer than the alternative, which is for people to stand in areas designed for sitting.
It’s about time that clubs, governing bodies, and the Government did the same.
Would you like to see a designated safe standing section at Huddersfield Town's John Smith's Stadium?
500+ VOTES SO FAR