The ASI's latest report by Head of Research Ben Southwood has gone down a storm with the media this week. From broadsheet columns to full pages in the red tops, 'Safe Standing: Why it's time to remove the ban' has been widely reported and even gained support from head of the Welsh conservatives, Andrew Davies MP.
The Daily Star reported:
Ticket prices for Premier League clubs could be halved if fans are allowed to stand on the terraces again. It is one of the idea put forward by a Government think tank which wants the game made cheaper for grassroots supporters.
The Adam Smith Institute says a ban on terrace standing brought in after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 now "doesn't fit". It believes prices could be cut by as much as 57% with safe standing.
The Sun reported:
The cost of watching top flight football could more than halve if terraces come back in, a report says today. It called for ministers to end the all-seater ban and bring in "safe standing".
A think tank analysed prices against European clubs which permit standing and predicted fans at all 20 premier league clubs would enjoy "serious" savings if allowed to do the same.
The Times reported:
The introduction of safe standing at Premier League football clubs would improve the atmosphere at matches and cut some season ticket prices by more than half, a think tank has said.
The report by the Adam Smith Institute calls on the government to repeal the ban on standing after the Hillsborough inquest concluded that police errors, not fans on terraces, were responsible for the deaths of 96 supporters.
City AM reported:
Sports minister Tracey Crouch is under pressure on the eve of the new Premier League season to allow England's top clubs to reintroduce standing at matches. A report published today by think tank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) says the use of "safe standing" sections is backed by most top-flight teams and the majority of fans.
Ben wrote for City AM:
It might have made sense to restrict standing in 1989, when its safety was unproven, but it doesn't now. Sweden, Austria, Germany and other sports show that it can be safe. Inquests show us it was not to blame for past tragedies.
It could cut ticket prices and improve atmosphere at games. And politically it's an easy step. Crouch: it's an open goal.
The i reported:
The ban on standing terraces in the Premier League should be overturned to help bring down ticket prices, ministers have been urged. The Adam Smith Institute has called for the reintroduction of some standing in football stadiums, citing support from fans and the potential to offer cheaper tickets.
Andrew Davies MP wrote for Conservative Home:
This week the Adam Smith Institute published a report calling for the UK government to allow safe standing in football grounds. It follows the recent inquest’s conclusion that it was police errors, not standing fans, that were responsible for the tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.
No official report has ever concluded that standing is inherently unsafe. If it were, then fans of rugby, horse racing or boxing would be subjected to the same ban imposed on football supporters. No, the standing ban is a legacy of a different era and whilst football supporters have moved on – most of our politicians refuse to.
Ben Southwood also appeared on Share Radio and Talk Sport to discuss the paper.