For many, football has become a little stale since the introduction of seats. Obviously, since the introduction of all seaters stadium, football has been a lot safer, and more pleasant for families when attending matches. However, one of the major drawbacks in the lack of atmosphere. When the grounds had terraces, all the ‘singers’ would get together in one paddock or area of the ground and sing sing sing. Obviously this can’t happen when you’ve been alloted a seat number somewhere daft. Well, terraces could make a return to football grounds under a Tory government, Conservative Party leader David Cameron has suggested. This will certainly be a popular idea, but is it a good idea?
Cameron said there was evidence that other countries managed to
organise safe standing areas, and pledged to launch a review of the
current regulations in the UK if he came to power.
However, Cameron insisted that the "first priority" must always be safety following
the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which more than 90 fans died.
Answering questions from visitors to his webcameron site, the Tory
leader said: "Obviously the first priority here has got to be safety
after the dreadful events at Hillsborough. We really have to bear that
in mind. But I understand the point that other countries manage to organise
things in a slightly different way, and there may be some more modern
ways of organising the limited seating areas. What I would say is that when we come into government I would ask the
sports minister to review the existing regulations to take into account
the views of the football authorities, the police, the clubs, the fans,
and we will have a really good look at this."
More than 100 MPs have signed an early-day motion (EDM) from Mike Hancock,
Lib Dem member for Portsmouth South, calling on the Government to
"re-examine the case for limited sections of safe standing areas".
At the moment, clubs in England’s top two divisions are legally
obliged to have all-seater stadia.
Sports minister Richard Caborn (who was MP for Sheffield Central at the time
of the Hillsborough disaster) has expressed his opposition to
reintroducing terraces, but has agreed to meet supporters of the campaign in light of
support for the EDM.
Now, we all know that German clubs have terracing, notably at Borussia Dortmund, who have an incredible atmosphere and consistently huge gates. I won’t pretend to know about trouble, or lack of it, at their stadium, but I don’t recall any news reports noting match disruptions or fines. I would like to see a return of terraces as the atmosphere I witnessed when I first began watching football has certainly gone. I liked the option of standing in the rowdy singing sections, as well as the option of moving if it got too much. However, I wouldn’t want my safety compromised. So, whilst I am on the fence, I do edge toward a return to standing areas. What do you think?