Tories should follow Celtic FC and score an open goal to win over English football fans

The Adam Smith Institute welcomes Celtic Park winning the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Stadium Business Awards and news that other clubs in England are looking to try the policy. We call on the Government at Westminster to repeal the ban on standing at football stadiums in England and Wales.

Ben Southwood, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute says:

"No surprises: Celtic’s safe standing section has won Celtic Park the Fan Experience Award from Stadium Business, in its very first year. It proves yet again that standing in football stadiums is the future—the Conservatives should seize on this to provide a liberal reform that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

We now know, from numerous reviews, that standing was not responsible for the disasters and tragedies of the 80s: that was bad policing, stadium design, and management. These problems have gone away: technology is incomparably more advanced and safer now. This is why standing operates across the continent, divisions outside the top two, and in other sports without incident.

Standing provides a much improved atmosphere—which is why 80-95% of fans surveyed in polls say they favour bringing it back time and time again. It may also allow clubs to reduce the price of the cheapest tickets: the gap between the priciest and most affordable ticket is far bigger at European clubs that have standing sections.

Many in politics already understand this, especially those MPs who are football fans: it would be a zero-cost reform that the government could do today to show fans across the country it cares about them."

The Adam Smith Institute has called for the ban on safe-standing in England and Wales to be lifted before - releasing a paper in 2016 supporting this position.

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Kind regards,