Trust Statement

The Trust recently carried out a consultation on the issue of standing at football with members. We are also aware of the current safe standing trials at Celtic and other grounds, and that it is a hotly debated issue among many supporters. Our own consultation showed a wide range of views – from no standing at all, to the other extreme where we turned the clock back to as it was in the 1960’s etc. Realistically the old style standing grounds is not an option. terrace The Trust have however, after careful consideration, decided that we would be supportive of provision of some safe rail standing areas in Grounds for both home and away fans; on the basis that If fans were given such an option we would then expect NO persistent standing to be allowed in seating areas. Clearly this would need more thought and discussion, it could – for example – be tried in a section of the Cricket Field Stand. Peter Pike – Chairman Clarets Trust

Member Responses

The following are the responses we received, thanks to all for taking the time to reply. I think it should be allowed at all grounds again! I am not averse to folk standing for a couple of minutes – eg. when a move has a ball almost at the goal and the crowd stands to see what happens. It is all part of the enjoyment of the game. However constant standing irritates me as some people find it difficult to stand for long periods and this constant standing by others completely ruins their enjoyment of the game. I do not find this in our area of Turf Moor but when attending away games some of the matches have been completely ruined for me and family members at some grounds by people standing for the whole game. Having paid for an expensive ticket it is unforgivable of some people to block views and stand for the whole game therefore spoiling others enjoyment. Often, when asked to sit down, these ‘offenders’ will give verbal abuse to the person requesting them to sit and this makes people wary of asking people to use their seats. I would like to stand on a (safe) terrace again but I think that mixing seats and ‘standing’ areas would be difficult. When people stand at present, others are forced to do so and this is unfair on children or others who have difficulty seeing over the top of them. So, basically, have terraces and stands, as of old – but don’t mix them. I’d support the creation of a designated standing area on the Turf. It’s not something I’d want to take advantage of myself. I prefer it when, having paid for a seat, I can use it. But the matchday experience can be spoiled by the enforcement of a seating requirement as much as by being forced to stand. I don’t get to very many home games, and don’t find other people standing to be a problem. It’s different away, where I go to most of my games. I’ve had to stand all through some games when away. That’s not been a problem for me yet, but it can’t be easy for children, the infirm and people who are not very tall. It would be nice to think that anyone realising they are putting someone at a disadvantage by standing would sit down; and many do. Yes,there should be standing areas for those who choose to do so. Standing is fine at away games as the atmosphere is better and it assists chanting, etc. Standing at home where many people tend to be quiet would be a pain unless there are designated standing areas for those who enjoy the singing. I am a Season Ticket holder. I am very anti standing at any football ground, as well as Turf Moor. It blocks views , can be dangerous, tiring for the over 60’s ( that means me ). Stick with seating please. Where to start on this thorny subject? I am now close to 70 years of age so my standing days are long behind me. However, I do appreciate that some fans (I believe this to be a small minority) do want to stand at a game. I am, of course, capable of rising quickly to my feet when we score! I only returned to frequent attendance of alway games during our last Premier League season. Enjoyment of quite a number of those away games was spoiled, often significantly, by the persistent standing of Burnley fans, often despite repeated and polite pleas from many fans for them to be seated. I witnessed many heated arguments and one exchange of blows.The presence of young children, unable to see, even when stood on a seat, has no impact on those selfish people. Probably a subjective assessment but it often seems that the ‘standers’ are amongst the tallest members of society. After what I considered to be dangerous standing conditions at QPR and Stoke grounds I contacted the Premier League to question why club stewards did not apply the Premier league’s own rules regarding persistent standing. The answer was that it was up to the home club and that my contact should be with them. The discomfort that this issue causes (both the interrupted view and the unpleasant atmosphere it generates) was a prominent factor for me in a significant reduction in the number of away games that I attended last season. The difficulty is where to locate a standing areas for home and away fans. I guess an obvious answer is along the back row(s) of any relevant area. Location of a standing area to one side or the other of seated fans leads to obstruction of view to at least on side. Our location at Old Trafford comes to mind in this respect where United fans to our right persistently stood despite frequent requests from stewards. The rant could go on but I imagine you will hear plenty more from others. I am 68 so would not take advantage of this if it was available. However, I am in favour of safe standing for whose who want it. You have requested views on the question of standing at football matches. My response is – (a) I have no objection to a separate designated standing area within a ground (b) I strongly object to selfish fans standing in designated seated areas thereby preventing Young People or Smaller People or Infirm People from actually watching the game I’m in favour of standing at matches. Safe standing areas will allow those who want to stand to do so without impeding the view of those who don’t want to or can’t. At the moment you have to stand if the person in front of you stands up. Making separate areas would help to alleviate this issue, although there may be some mileage in a fellow fan awareness campaign to try and encourage people to think of those around them before they elect to stand. Definitely no standing in seated area, so create a standing area for home fans in every ground. I think that there should be safe standing areas behind the goals wherever possible. (I realise that this would pose some problems at certain grounds – Turf Moor included). Other than in those designated standing areas all spectators should be required to remain seated during games. Away supporters should be provided with similar facilities. At the moment , when I attend away games I am “forced” to stand! So both standing & sitting areas should be available. Whichever option fans choose to use at a game , they must adhere to the rules ( ie you only stand in the designated areas ). I am seriously considering not attending away games any more due to persistent standing of people in front of me. It used to be sporadic but these days it seems to be the norm. Just to say that I am totally against the re-introduction of standing areas. All areas should be seating areas, and supporters should not be allowed to stand at any time. Paul Fletcher, Burnley’s former Chief Executive wrote to our chairman, Peter Pike, on the issue. In the letter, below, he gives his view as both a fan and chief executive on safe standing and its likelihood.
Former CEO of Burnley FC, Paul Fletcher, gives his view.
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