Following the news of West Brom's safe standing bid rejection by government Sam Dumitriu, Head of Research, Adam Smith Institute said:
“Sports Minister Tracey Crouch’s decision to reject West Bromwich Albion’s plan to introduce ‘safe standing’ next season is a blow to football fans across the country. The requirement for all teams in the top-two tiers of English football to have all-seater stadiums is outdated. Rail seating is widely used in German, Austria and Sweden, and was recently introduced at Celtic Park to great success.
“Right now in most football grounds, many of the most enthusiastic fans will stand throughout the match, regardless of the all-seater nature of Premier League stadia. This is more dangerous than rail seating as fans frequently fall over the seats in front of them causing injury. Under the status quo, we have unsafe standing.
“Safe standing is overwhelmingly popular with football fans, with polls regularly finding more than 80% of football supporters in favour. According to Adam Smith Institute research, it could cut the cost of a season ticket at some top-flight grounds in half and save West Brom fans around £120 a year on the lowest-priced season ticket. Tracey Couch should follow the evidence and listen to the fans. After the season they’ve had, the Baggies’ deserve all the good news they can get.”
For more information, read the Adam Smith Institute report Safe Standing: Why it’s time to remove the ban. Please get in touch with Matt Kilcoyne (07904099599 or 02072224995) to arrange an interview or further comment.