SAFE STANDING - TOGETHER
FOLLOWING the Government's decision to reject a safe standing trial at West Bromwich Albion, AFC Bournemouth supporter organisation Cherries Trust has launch a survey to see how their fans feel about the issue.
Safe standing was deemed to be an issue affecting 'a vocal minority' according to Sports Minister Tracey Crouch earlier this month, but the Cherries Trust are keen to see if that is the case on for followers of the south coast club. The survey is run in conjunction with the Football Supporters Federation and feeds into their national survey, which should provide insight into fans' views from all tiers of football.
“There's definitely an appetite for it” said Trust spokesman Tony Maycock. “It has been a topic of discussion for fans at each of our last two AGMS and it's something that you hear mentioned down the pub, on the coach to away games or in the queues at half time almost every game”.
A petition on the Government website to allow Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing has already passed 60,000 signatures but, despite this support from matchgoing fans, a spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport reiterated that they have “no plans to change our position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds in the top two divisions”.
Asked about the motivation behind the survey, Tony Maycock went on to say “It's all about freedom of choice. The safe standing movement isn't advocating a return to terracing or converting entire grounds - they want to give people the option to stand and watch a game of football safely. I look forward to finding out how our fans feel”.
With the Cherries still undergoing consultation for a new stadium in Kings Park, any changes made by the Government could be incorporated in plans for the ground. Tottenham Hotspur, whose new White Hart Lane ground is due for completion later this year, have designed the stadium with safe standing in mind and with the ability to introduce rail type seating should the legislation change and it is hoped that the finding of this survey will help inform the plans for the south coast club.
To take part in the survey please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/safe-standing-survey
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