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TOWN BACKS SAFE STANDING

27 January 2014

Board comments to Football League consolation

Huddersfield Town has responded to the Football League in support of standing in rail seating in the Championship.
 
On 27 December 2013, The Football League asked its clubs to participate in a consultation exercise (click HERE for info). 
 
The Football League invited clubs to comment on what change, if any, they would like to see to the current regulations through answers to the following four questions:
 
Huddersfield Town has replied YES to all four of the Football League’s questions:
 
QUESTION 1 
Should The Football League approach the Minister for Sport to request that the ‘all-seater’ stadia requirement for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation? YES
 
QUESTION 2 
Should The Football League approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licensed in Football League grounds? YES
 
QUESTION 3 
Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters standing in rail seating in The Football League Championship? YES
 
QUESTION 4 
Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League 1 and League 2 following relegation from The Football League Championship? YES
 
The Football League has asked for feedback from clubs by 24 January 2014. In advance of the Football League’s process, Huddersfield Town had already sent out a short survey to its ‘All Together Town’ Online Panel of supporters asking for views on issues around ‘Safe Standing’.
 
The results of the Safe Standing survey returned an overwhelming 92% of our supporters in favour of Huddersfield Town formally supporting the Safe Standing campaign (click HERE for full results).
 
Huddersfield Town’s Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens commented:
 
“The Club has carefully considered the issues and the Board is of the unanimous view that we would like to see change. With the development of rail seat technology and experience of all seater stadia, the issues surrounding standing have changed materially since the existing regulations were implemented. 
 
“Football supporters see fellow fans standing at games in a very well regulated and developed Bundesliga and ask why that system is safe in Germany, but not in the Football League?
 
“Fans can currently stand at Yeovil in the Championship with no rail seating – just traditional barriers – but it’s not possible elsewhere in the Championship. 
 
“We all see thousands routinely standing in all-seater stands every week. It’s often unclear what ‘persistent standing’ means and what will or won’t be accepted by stewards and Safety Officers from one ground to the next. That gives stewards an almost impossible job and can create conflicts with supporters, which everyone wants to avoid. 
 
“We feel that choice is important for those wanting to stand; it could bring real benefits to everyone. It could make a positive impact in terms of game atmosphere, fan experience and resolve stewarding issues associated with standing in seated areas. It could also capture the imagination of fans and lead to a growth in attendances.
 
“We have consulted with fans via ‘All Together Town’ meetings and a ‘Voices Panel’ survey. From the 204 responses, the view was overwhelming – but not a surprise; fan support has been growing for some time.

“With the visit of FA Chairman Greg Dyke on Saturday, it was also a good opportunity to share views on the Safe Standing debate.
 
“The existing regulations address the different circumstances football was faced with at that time and have clearly made a positive impact. As a Club, we feel it’s now time to revisit them and make them fit for purpose given the new challenges and opportunities that exist.” 

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