Would Norwich City fans be in favour of a safe standing area at Carrow Road?
PUBLISHED: 11:21 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 02 August 2017
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The debate over safe standing in football grounds has taken a new twist after Liverpool supporters voted overwhelmingly in favour of rail seating in an online poll.
The Spirit of Shankley supporters group recently held a poll on the issue with 88 per cent of the 17,910 people who voted were in favour. Five per cent were against the idea whilst the rest were undecided or wanted to know more.
Liverpool have said their supporters’ position on the issue is “uniquely complex” because of the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed 96 lives.
The requirement for all-seater stadiums in England’s top flight was a response to the tragedy and government legislation would need to change for standing areas to be introduced.
The Premier League wrote to all 20 of its member clubs last month to assess whether they would be interested in staging trials.
Rail seating, similar to the system at the ground of Scottish champions Celtic, is a safe-standing area featuring retractable seats.
The Glasgow giants introduced about 3,000 rail seats at Celtic Park at the beginning of last season whilst West Brom have said they would be willing to use the Hawthorns as part of a pilot scheme for safe standing in England.
A report was released last year by the Adam Smith institution claiming that the introduction of safe standing could half ticket prices for supporters. The report highlighted a 2014 poll by Norwich City supporters group the Barclay End Projekt which found that of 853 respondents 89.21pc were in favour of seeing a safe standing area trialled at Carrow Road.
However, chief executive at the time, David McNally, maintained an official position of being opposed to the idea.
In 2015, speaking as shadow chancellor and before he became Norwich City chairman, Ed Balls said he would like to see safe standing in football grounds.
“Personally, I would like to get back to safe standing,” he said. “For many clubs things have changed so much. I’m not sure the rules are necessary. As a private citizen I’m very supportive of that.
“The people who lost their lives (at Hillsborough) aren’t forgotten, but nor are the lessons we learnt from that. We’ve got to make sure that anything we do doesn’t go back to the bad old days - I remember going to Norwich games and the away fans were locked in a cage.
“Let’s not lose the good things we’ve achieved. We often go to Rugby League and there’s safe standing there. If it can be done, I’d do it.”
Would you be in favour of a safe standing area at Carrow Road?