Why should standing areas not come back?

As standing areas are being trialled, should they come back after 30 years?

Katie Siddall
2nd December 2021
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
With Chelsea and Liverpool - amongst other clubs - trialing safe standing areas starting January 1st, is it the best thing for football supporters?

Everyone remembers, or knows, April 15th 1989 as The Hillsborough Disaster. At Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday’s ground, 94 people died whilst Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in the FA cup semi-final. There is still an ongoing inquest, which this year found that Mr Denton, Mr Foster and Mr Metcalf were all acquitted of perverting the course of justice.

The Hillsborough Disaster is one example of why standing areas may not be the best idea to be brought back

The Hillsborough Disaster is one example of why standing areas may not be the best idea to be brought back; however, it should be stated that inquests surrounding the event believe that security was a factor – not the fact that the standing areas are, themselves, unsafe.

For those families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, they may think this idea is the worst. They may not feel safe going to grounds where standing areas are going to be built.

Twitter: @SGSA_UK

As well as the uncertainty of safety, there’s the uncertainty of vision. This is a trivial factor compared to my previous point but vision decides whether you enjoy the match or not (as well as the obvious results). If someone taller than you, or someone wearing a headpiece, is in front of you, you won't see the pitch. Then what? You'll stand, typically in the cold, being miserable for 90 minutes.

Another feature of this is if you are with a child, they might not be able to see either. Having seats, though it can be unsafe, is helpful for said child to stand on in order for them to see. Without them, children may also get tired and you have to hold them for a while whilst your arms go numb or they sit on a floor with spilt drinks and food… which is frankly quite rank.

Seating makes the match more enjoyable for your vision. And your vision makes that £50 you spent on your own ticket, never mind the rest, worth the trip!

I can name numerous other reasons that would probably make you call me a pessimist: being shoved, drinks spilt on you, food spillages to name a few. Yes, standing spaces might bring back a sense of nostalgia but the safety from slipping on these spillages and just the thought of the Hillsborough Disaster might put people off going into the standing areas.

One last thought to leave you with: Will stadiums make or lose money once standing areas are built?

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