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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » INSIDE WANDERERS: Would safe standing be a step backwards for Bolton?

INSIDE WANDERERS: Would safe standing be a step backwards for Bolton?

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
More than 110,000 names placed on a petition lobbying the government to re-open the debate on safe standing shows there is a considerable appetite for change.

MPs will discuss the issue next month in the House of Commons and both the EFL and Football Supporters Federation have thrown their weight behind clubs’ right to introduce modernised standing sections.

It now seems rather inevitable some concession will be made to the recommendations of the Taylor Report, written in the aftermath of 1989’s Hillsborough Disaster, which deemed all stadia in the top two flights must be all-seater.

But there is a feeling within some of the game’s movers and shakers that relaxing the laws will not necessarily be all it has cracked up to be.

Wanderers have remained quite neutral on the matter, welcoming a debate and encouraging supporters to sign the online petition but stopping short of showing their outright support in the same way as, say, Norwich City or West Brom.

Part of the reason may be their own Macron Stadium - built post-Taylor Report - which would require significant reconfiguration if rails were introduced, as steps and spacing between the existing seating is incongruous with the current designs. And that would come at a cost.

One would suggest Bolton could easily cope with a small reduction in capacity that installing rail seats in adequate number would cause - but other logistical problems, including the citing of stairwells and exits would also have to be tackled. It is a similar case for plenty of other clubs whose stadia were built within the last couple of decades, although Shrewsbury Town - whose Greenhous Meadow home is still relatively new - have bucked the trend to conduct a trial next season.

Back in the days of terraces, a standing ticket was traditionally cheaper than a seat. By the time clubs have accounted for the changes explained above, there is some doubt that any saving would be passed on to fans.

Examples around Europe, particularly Germany and Austria, and in Glasgow where Celtic have used rail seating, are often cited as the way forward. But, in truth, English football fans have never particularly embraced the idea of watching the game from a seated position.

The biggest match-day bug-bear for stewards and match controllers around the country is the frankly unwinnable battle against supporters who choose to stand, regardless of the rules. Goodness knows how many arguments, or worse, have been triggered in the name of defending health and safety.

Unless you have nerves of steel, it is a conditioned response to rise to your feet whenever a goal is scored, or tension is high. And those who rally against modern football will also swear blind all-seater stadia have had a negative effect on match atmosphere, which is not as good as it was in the ‘good old days’.

But whether the terrace purists like it or not there are supporters - particularly those at the more extreme ends of the age scale - who want to watch the game from the comfort of their seat. And finding a happy compromise will be important if football clubs want to continue attracting families, which remain big business, and a large slice of the season ticket pie.

Football has moved on since the tragic events of Hillsborough forced the game to address its safety shortcomings. Fans are no longer regarded as a unwanted underclass by those in authority and it can be reasonably expected to visit a stadium anywhere in the Football League and enjoy a comfortable experience. It is frightening to think that was not always a guarantee.

Authorities will need to be sure the reintroduction of safe standing does not jeopardise that progress. But clubs, including Bolton, will need to weigh up the downsides as well as addressing the demand.

Source

Tungsten3


Mario Jardel
Mario Jardel
Easy answer no

wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I don't think it would be a step backward but do think it would be a unnecessary cost at this point in time when we need money on the pitch rather than in the facilities.

If safe standing is deemed the way forward, why does it need to be now as opposed to a few years down the road when we have hopefully got a business that breaks even or better?

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
We have a standing area already - knobhead corner.

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