Peterborough United have always backed safe standing but could the recent events at Bristol City change the development plans for London Road?
With Posh already in the process of re-building Moys` End, the London Road terrace was the next stage of the development but could we finally get safe standing instead of a “retrofit”?
Posh have strongly backed the safe standing campaign but in a sudden twist could the campaign finally succeed thanks to our League One rivals Bristol City?
The Robins have installed safe standing in one section of their ground but it won`t be used for football purposes yet!
They have installed a demonstration block for spectators to see how it may look if it were made legal within an area of the ground not currently used. Delegates from the Football Association and Football League will view the demonstration block today [Wednesday, 12th February].
Initially the “safe standing” areas would only be used during Bristol Rugby matches held at the stadium as the current regulations prohibit their use for football matches. If regulations permit, the rail seats will be installed as part of the Ashton Gate development which is due to start in the summer.
The Football League has agreed to lobby the Government in a bid to permit ‘safe standing’ areas in the game. Some Football League clubs, including Posh, have backed calls for the introduction of standing areas and campaigners believe rail seats provide a safer alternative to ‘old-style’ terraces, such as London Road, which did little to stop the forward movement of fans.
Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said: ‘Consultation has given us a better understanding of the wide range of views held by clubs on this issue and we will take our cue from the prevailing opinion.”
The rail seats can be unlocked or locked, to create either a standing or seated area. In Germany, the seats are put up for league games, but lowered for European matches.
Rail seating is used at some of Germany’s biggest grounds such as Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion ground as well as the grounds of Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg and Werder Bremen.
Rail seating is also approved for use as seats by Uefa and Fifa. So why can`t Posh, Bristol City and any other club install rail seating?
All-seater stadia have been compulsory in the Premier League and Championship since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. Standing is allowed in Leagues One and Two which is why Posh have been able to use Moys` End and London Road but should they get promoted back to the Championship, things would be very different.
Championship grounds must be all-seater after a club has played in the second tier for three seasons. Last season was Posh`s third season in the second flight of English football.
Should the seats receive a positive reception from the football dignitaries would they be able to throw their whole weight behind the changing of the rules surrounding all-seaters?
With both Posh and Bristol City re-developing their stadiums, hopefully a decision will be made soon so safe-standing can be installed at both grounds over the summer.
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