Calls for safe standing at Carrow Road backed by local MPs
PUBLISHED: 12:22 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:25 22 March 2018
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A cross-party group of local MPs is backing Norwich City’s call for the introduction of safe standing areas at Carrow Road.
Currently 2-3,000 fans, about 10pc of the crowd, stand throughout matches in the Lower Barclay Stand at the football ground. In the past children have been forced to stand on their seats to get a clear view, putting them at risk of falling. The club said it is concerned about the safety risk.
The top two tiers of English football are not allowed to provide safe standing areas under the terms of the Football Spectators Act of 1989 and subsequent 1990 Taylor Report recommendations.
Norwich City wants to see a change in the legislation so that safe standing areas can be introduced, as is normal practice in many European countries. The club argues it would allow those who wish to stand to do so without blocking other fans’ views or posing a risk to other fans’ safety.
In December a Norfolk Safety Advisory Group decision resulted in the club relocating 17 under-16s and 18 accompanying adults from the popular lower tier of the Barclay stand to other parts of the ground as a result of standing on seats.
Norman Lamb (Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk), Clive Lewis (Labour MP for Norwich South), and Chloe Smith (Conservative MP for Norwich North) have written to the Home Secretary asking her to meet with them to discuss changing the current legislation that prevents safe standing areas.
Mr Lamb, a Norwich City season ticket holder, said: “It’s great that fans are passionate about the game and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to stand if they want. But there’s clearly a safety issue here and if other countries can introduce sensible measures that allow all fans to enjoy the game, surely it’s within our capabilities to do the same.”
Mr Lewis, who has a season ticket in the Barclay stand at Norwich City said: “Safe standing at Norwich is a no brainer. It’d help the club better meet their safety obligations and many fans I’ve spoken with want to see it happen as well. I’d also hope that in the long-run it can lead to a reduction in the cost of getting into a match.”
Steve Stone, managing director at Norwich City, said “We firmly believe that our fans should have the option to stand safely at Carrow Road during games, which can be best achieved by a change in legislation to permit “safe standing” solutions proving so successful at Celtic and numerous German clubs.”