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« Spurs Miscellany | Main | Kick Danny Rose out of football »

Do you want safe standing at the Lane?

We're all aware of current government regulations on persistent standing at football stadia in England. There is no safe standing areas, none that exist officially. We're always made aware of the potential risk of clubs being punished for it by having sections of their ground shut. However there's always that argument any given supporter could give that at times clubs look the other way, say if its a North London derby. It's rare to be asked to be seated. Passions and nerves run high. So persistent standing is not the health and safety risk some would have you imagine however its also not a safe standing area. You're still standing by your seat. So why should supporters and clubs not discuss the potential for an official area, block where football fans are permitted to stand? At the minute, it's just not legally viable. So what can be done about it?

For starters, keep you're eye on the Football Supporters Federation website. There's also a petition you can sign. They will also keep you apprised of other clubs that are currently pushing for safe standing to happen. This includes other Premier League clubs as well as some from the lower leagues.

The issue still remains with the current government legislation. So what can we do about it?

Early day motion.

What is EDM? An EDM is a form of petition amongst the back-bench MP's (minsters are not allowed to sign them). Their purpose is to raise awareness for any given issue and to demonstrate the level of support for that issue in Westminster. So as Tottenham fans, what can we do?

We need to get every MP in the Tottenham catchment area plus those that represent Tottenham fans living elsewhere to support the EDM. You can use this to locate MP's:

So we need to get MP's to sign the EDM.

Also, keep your eye on the FSF website for the very latest on this.

We also need to get the club to support the EDM and what it's actually asking for. I've included the actual motion details below, in a nutshell it's to oversee a few pilots for safe standing to see if its feasible in practice. The vital part of this is quite obvious. You (Tottenham supporters) need to let the club know that you back this idea that you can to see safe standing piloted in England and possibly even at Spurs so that we all can see if its something that can work in the Premier League as well as it does in Germany. Even if pilots are not run at White Hart Lane there is surely no harm at all for Tottenham to entertain someone else in piloting safe standing by running a trial so that both Spurs and all other clubs can see if its beneficial or not. There is nothing to lose here. However, we need as many football clubs as possible to just agree that this is something worth looking into.

Below is the early day motion as it stands at the time of writing. I'll be sharing the FSF updates once they're available on their website. Please discuss safe standing here and promote the EDM if you're interested in seeing this progress.


Please share this link - - to promote the EDM.


Early day motion 573



  • Session: 2012-13
  • Date tabled: 15.10.2012
  • Primary sponsor: Godsiff, Roger
  • Sponsors:
    • Hancock, Mike
    • Stringer, Graham

Total number of signatures: 3

Godsiff, Roger Hancock, Mike Stringer, Graham



That this House urges the Government to accept the case for introducing, on a trial basis, limited standing areas at grounds of clubs in the Premier League and Championship whose management want to participate in such trials; further urges the Government to recognise there is widespread support for such areas and that improvements in stadium design and technology mean that, with rigorous safety specifications, standing areas can be safely introduced; notes the long-term success of new standing technology in many other European leagues, including the German Bundesliga, the availability of this technology in the UK and plans by the Scottish Premier League to initiate trials; and calls on the Government to amend the Football Spectators Act 1989 by statutory instrument to allow this pilot to take place.

Reader Comments (12)

If I'm standing how am I meant to put a cup of tea on my knee while I eat my pie and read my Telegraph? I don't think you're seeing the big picture here.

Oct 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterdrwinston001

I hope DrWinston brings his tea in a natty little aluminium flask. I'm slightly disappointed he hasn't got a paper plate with nice little sandwiches also. Prawn maybe. Course I understand the sentiment it was written in ; )

Why do I think this will only just end up being a money making exercise for the clubs? Reduce the prices for this area by 10% and get 25% more people in. So we now reckon new naming Rights will hold 70k with say 20k standing?

Oct 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpurious

Spectators in certain areas of all grounds stand now. Everyone knows where these sections are and if people don't want to stand they move elsewhere or forgo the opportunity to attend. The only problem comes in semi-finals and finals when those who normally stand all the time are placed with those who sit until something special happens. This invariably causes friction and arguments, with each side at the very least telling the other what they feel are home truths.
However, if in normal games behaviour gets out of hand the culprits can easily be both seen and removed, hence the regular complaints from fans who feel they have been victimized. In safe standing areas it will be far more difficult for police and stewards to control misbehaviour, which is unfortunately the task they have. The real question is can the fans who want to act in this way be trusted? On the evidence of what happened when there were standing areas, the answer to that is an unequivocal "No".

The police have been condemned for what happened in 1989 at Hillsborough, because they "lost control of the crowd". I hardly think that they will be happy to give up extra control they have since been given, while retaining the responsibility if anything goes wrong.
Safe is as safe does. No standing area, or indeed sitting area, is ever completely safe, so putting the adjective "safe" in front of the term "standing area" is by no means enough. It depends on the behaviour of the people within that area. This is something that the "independent" panel (independent my ar*e: 5 of the 8 on the panel, including the Chairman, had Liverpool connections) were completely unwilling to accept. "Losing control of the crowd" does not matter a jot, unless it means that the crowd was therefore "out of control". If the crowd were out of control, then at least some of that crowd bear responsibility for making it so. This is true whatever mistakes the police made, whatever lies they told, and however much they changed their stories. The panel said the police were "looking through the lens of hooliganism", the "lens" being later further corrupted into a "prism". This is wrong. They were dealing with the reality of football hooliganism, which is very different, and is why English teams had been banned from European football at this time.
Until the people concerned can start to take responsibility for their own behaviour, the police can hardly be expected to welcome a diminution of their powers to control them.

Oct 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn White

Doesn't matter if the club's interest is only in increasing revenue. The increase in atmosphere would be magic.

Oct 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyspurs

In Germany the clubs are part "fan owned" so are based on fans, look at their prices compared to ours and you can see that when we created the Premier League they had the better long term plan for fans.

Does anyone honestly think that the government or any clubs want standing back in any way at grounds. I know the good Dr Winstons comment is what ENIC would say - 5000 standing fans or 3000 corporates. Which way do you think they will design the new (not actually happening, we are off to OS) stadium?

Oct 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ68

As for the poor chap with his cup of tea and Daily Telegraph, perhaps this video will explain the benefits of safe standing for him:

Safe standing video

With regards managing spectators in a safe standing area, I actually believe this would be easier than managing standing fans in rows of normal seats. There are two key reasons for this: (1) stewards/police will be able to move along the rows more easily as there are no obstructions caused by protruding seats or seatbacks, which in conventional seating areas eat up a lot of the 'clearway' space along a row, leaving little space to get by spectators (as you'll have experienced yourselves when wanting to get to a seat in the middle of a row). Rail seats fold up flush between the uprigts of the frame and thus take up only 5cm of the clearway, making movement along the row much easier for stewards, police and, indeed, paramedics. (2) In the event that a spectator misbehaves and stewards/police wish to apprehend that person and possibly eject them, by positioning one steward/officer at each end of a row of rail seats the miscreant is effectively fenced in and any attempt to flee up or down the stand is made far more difficult by the waist-high rails than it would be over shin-high seatbacks.

That is made more clear by some of the images on this page of my website.

Oct 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon Darch

As a fan, I like these safe standing areas. It would reintroduce great atmosphere. And it wouldn't affect crowd control at all.

Oct 19, 2012 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaterham7

Jon Darch. I did not know that there was a safe standing campaign. Good to see there is a group of people dedicated to this.
if it happened It will be like the old days, the vocal fans standing and the sandwich/corporate/family/quiet and elderly types sitting.

Oct 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko-61

koko-61: that's the plan! Details coming soon, BTW, of an easy way to lobby MPs about EDM 573.

Oct 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJon Darch

The whole argument is about choice. Some fans want to sit, some to stand. By providing safe standing areas, as in Germany and other European countries, and at many grounds in our own Leagues One & Two, it is possible to separate those who want to sit from those who want to stand. No more arguments over views being blocked and no more conflict with stewards trying to enforce an unworkable regulation.

If you would like to read more of the arguments for and against the choice to stand, analysis of the various disasters & hooliganism that led to all-seating, proposed methods of safe standing and how standing currnently works at many grounds, may I suggest a new book:

Stand Up Sit Down - A Choice to Watch Football

Oct 25, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Caton

Hi All,

To e-mail your MP and urge him/her to support EDM 573 and the call for trials of safe standiing there is now a very simple and quick tool here:

E-mail your MP about EDM 573

Oct 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJon Darch

Excellent! No excuses people. Get on it.

Oct 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

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