As the football world remembers the Hillsborough disaster, the Daily Echo asks if fans will ever stand on terraces again?

Daily Echo: The Hillsborough disaster, April 15, 1989. The Hillsborough disaster, April 15, 1989.

During the past week football remembered one of the worst tragedies to hit the game.

A total of 96 people lost their lives and 766 others were injured 25 years ago on April 15, 1989, during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Fans were crushed as more than 3,000 people piled into the terraced Leppings Lane stand, forcing safety barriers to give way and pinning supporters up against steel fences.

Players and fans alike marked the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster with a minute’s silence, culminating in an emotional service at Anfield.

The anniversary has reignited the debate over whether safe terracing can ever be reintroduced into English stadiums.

Terraced stadiums are a prominent feature in continental leagues, with clubs such as German Bundesliga side Bourissia Dortmund showing how safe standing can work in the modern game at its 80,000-capacity Westfalenstadion.

The club has installed terraced areas using the rail-seat method – a popular style of seating used by others clubs in the Bundesliga, Austria, and Sweden.

It is a method that is approved for use as seats by Uefa and Fifa, which means the seats are put up for league games but lowered for European matches.

The seats can be unlocked or locked to create standing or seated areas.

Fans’ group the Football Supporters’ Federation launched its safe standing campaign, which aims to persuade the Government, football authorities and clubs to accept the case for introducing limited sections of standing areas at grounds in the Premier League and the Championship.

Earlier this year, Premier League side Aston Villa said it would back proposals to introduce safe standing in Premier League grounds and have offered to conduct a trial of rail-seats at Villa Park.

Other Premier League clubs, including Swansea, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, and Hull City, have also pledged their support for the safe standing campaign.

It is supported by the likes of Watford, Wolves, and even Pompey, but Saints have yet to back the cause.

And this year Bristol City became the first club in the country to install rail seats on a trial basis at its Ashton Gate stadium.

But could a safe-standing section work at St Mary’s?

Saints fan Daren Wheeler told the Daily Echo he would love to see safe terracing at St Mary’s but believes clubs these days would not see it as cost effective.

He said: “It is one of those things which has had its time. With so many new stadiums being built, the question is whether it is cost- effective.

“I have never got the theory that seating is safer. If there is any type of emergency, what is going to be easier to deal with for the emergency services? Getting across a packed, narrow seating area or a terraced area?

“If you had an emergency in the Northam block, there would be chaos.

“I 100 per cent back the club’s proposing a trial. People have been standing at football grounds for years and they still do as it is an emotional event.

“If you really love football you are not going to be sat on your backside for 90 minutes.

“Another thing I don’t understand is if we want to discuss safe standing how come it is acceptable to stand on a train going at 100mph but not at a football ground when you are standing still?

“The Bundesliga has been doing it for years without any trouble.”

Fellow Saints fan Steve Grant said: “I’d like to see some form of allowable standing in Premier League grounds, but considering the number of people who continue to stand even under the current legislation, implementing safe standing as has been advertised would seem to be a bit of a waste of money on the part of the clubs.

“Initially, clubs should liaise more with their fans to have designated blocks where standing is allowed, so those who wish to sit don’t have their views blocked, while those who wish to stand can do so without heavy-handed stewards causing problems at every break in play.

“Once clubs and fans have proven they can work together within that framework, then there’s a case to go to the next step and look at areas with fold-away seats.”

David Rose, deputy chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, told the Daily Echo its campaign is not looking to introduce the old-style terraces back into modern-day stadia.

He said: “Initially we are hoping there will be a trial and for clubs to have a choice.

“We are not proposing to revert back to the old-style terraces in the two top flights.

“One of the options is the safe-standing model with a rail. It does not create a forward motion like the old style.

“Aston Villa have been great in terms of looking at the arguments around it.

“From a personal point of view, one of the reasons why I would like to see terraces back is the atmosphere. We don’t sit down in church when singing, and there are times of excitement in games when we expect fans to stand up.

“It’s a game that is natural to stand up in and we recognise that a lot of people want to sit down.”

Southampton FC were unavailable for comment.

Comments (16)

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8:33am Sun 20 Apr 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

Another angle here is the cost of admission to games. I'm in awe of the Bundesliga which attracts huge gates primarily due to the relatively low cost of tickets resulting from extra capacity.

If we were to increase capacity at St Mary's by, say, converting the Chapel stand to safe standing (possibly reserved for under 25's with a £10-15 match day ticket price) how many more people might be accommodated? My sneaking suspicion is, though, that the club would use any extra capacity to increase income rather than expand the fan base.
Another angle here is the cost of admission to games. I'm in awe of the Bundesliga which attracts huge gates primarily due to the relatively low cost of tickets resulting from extra capacity. If we were to increase capacity at St Mary's by, say, converting the Chapel stand to safe standing (possibly reserved for under 25's with a £10-15 match day ticket price) how many more people might be accommodated? My sneaking suspicion is, though, that the club would use any extra capacity to increase income rather than expand the fan base. FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 3

8:37am Sun 20 Apr 14

Datarater says...

Hopefully not.
Hopefully not. Datarater
  • Score: 0

10:29am Sun 20 Apr 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age! OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 2

10:54am Sun 20 Apr 14

likewatchingbrazil says...

25% of the stadium should be standing, they stand in the Northam and due to the seats it is quite dangerous when we score and people start jumping about, fans will never sit in the Northam so it makes sence to make it safe.
25% of the stadium should be standing, they stand in the Northam and due to the seats it is quite dangerous when we score and people start jumping about, fans will never sit in the Northam so it makes sence to make it safe. likewatchingbrazil
  • Score: 2

10:57am Sun 20 Apr 14

Positively4thStreet says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: -3

11:30am Sun 20 Apr 14

userds5050 says...

“The Bundesliga has been doing it for years without any trouble.”
No they haven't. Germany has had a problem with hoolignism for years with hundreds of arrests in games involving media darlings Dormund.
I'm not sure if the fans standing has any relevance but do we really want to chance it?
It really annoys me these fans' federations thinking they speak for everyone.
“The Bundesliga has been doing it for years without any trouble.” No they haven't. Germany has had a problem with hoolignism for years with hundreds of arrests in games involving media darlings Dormund. I'm not sure if the fans standing has any relevance but do we really want to chance it? It really annoys me these fans' federations thinking they speak for everyone. userds5050
  • Score: 2

12:12pm Sun 20 Apr 14

derek james says...

Positively4thStreet wrote:
OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15
[quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.[/p][/quote]making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15 derek james
  • Score: 1

1:26pm Sun 20 Apr 14

userds5050 says...

derek james wrote:
Positively4thStreet wrote:
OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15
Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity?
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.[/p][/quote]making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15[/p][/quote]Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity? userds5050
  • Score: 4

2:26pm Sun 20 Apr 14

mike coll says...

When it comes to Liverpool, frankly I am firmly in the Boris Johnson camp.
When it comes to Liverpool, frankly I am firmly in the Boris Johnson camp. mike coll
  • Score: -2

6:46pm Sun 20 Apr 14

red/whitearmy says...

Standing is safe and always will be as long as it is safely controlled like the dell was. All the grounds have to do is allocate an area for safe standing. But i can not see the authorities allowing this to happen.
Standing is safe and always will be as long as it is safely controlled like the dell was. All the grounds have to do is allocate an area for safe standing. But i can not see the authorities allowing this to happen. red/whitearmy
  • Score: 2

7:55pm Sun 20 Apr 14

Positively4thStreet says...

derek james wrote:
Positively4thStreet wrote:
OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15
I didn't say I was against standing,just that the areas need to be segregated so that people can do either or,as the problem at the moment is that people who don't want to stand,or just simply can't,have their view blocked if someone in front decides to stand up for whatever reason.Like Osprey said,it may be alright for someone now,but in twenty or thirty years time,they will almost certainly have a different attitude,and it comes round quicker than you would think too!
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.[/p][/quote]making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15[/p][/quote]I didn't say I was against standing,just that the areas need to be segregated so that people can do either or,as the problem at the moment is that people who don't want to stand,or just simply can't,have their view blocked if someone in front decides to stand up for whatever reason.Like Osprey said,it may be alright for someone now,but in twenty or thirty years time,they will almost certainly have a different attitude,and it comes round quicker than you would think too! Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Sun 20 Apr 14

derek james says...

userds5050 wrote:
derek james wrote:
Positively4thStreet wrote:
OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15
Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity?
i can't find any figures but i would imagine you could get 1.5-2 people safely standing in the area of a seat (or a seat and the space between them).there are other factors stadia are built using precast floor units to suit the approved sight angle for seating, this may be different for standing
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.[/p][/quote]making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15[/p][/quote]Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity?[/p][/quote]i can't find any figures but i would imagine you could get 1.5-2 people safely standing in the area of a seat (or a seat and the space between them).there are other factors stadia are built using precast floor units to suit the approved sight angle for seating, this may be different for standing derek james
  • Score: -1

8:29pm Sun 20 Apr 14

userds5050 says...

The Westfalenstadion has the same capacity 80,000 standing or seating as the seat folds up or down depending on the competition. Another point this fan group don't mention is Bundesliga fans stand behnd huge fences. You can see the fans caged in during Champions league matches. To use the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough to lobby for safe standing is nothing short of a disgrace.
The Westfalenstadion has the same capacity 80,000 standing or seating as the seat folds up or down depending on the competition. Another point this fan group don't mention is Bundesliga fans stand behnd huge fences. You can see the fans caged in during Champions league matches. To use the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough to lobby for safe standing is nothing short of a disgrace. userds5050
  • Score: 2

8:29pm Sun 20 Apr 14

derek james says...

userds5050 wrote:
derek james wrote:
Positively4thStreet wrote:
OSPREYSAINT wrote:
A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age!
Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable.
I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter!
At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.
making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15
Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity?
i can't find any figures but i would imagine you could safely get 1.5-2 people in the distance between the centre lines of the spaces between seats there would need to be a handrail maybe every 6 steps.so capacity would be increased.in the lower leagues and abroad standing tickets are generally cheaper so there must be an increase in capacity
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Positively4thStreet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: A few years ago I might have welcomed standing, but not any more, I like the relative comfort of a seat in my old age![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree Ospers,it is (in the main)an age related thing.Probably the only instance where "segregation" would be desirable. I can remember standing on the terrace under the West Stand at the Dell,in crowds so tightly packed,that you wouldn't fall over if you fainted,although you didn't get cold during the winter! At the end of the game,there was just one solid lump of bodies squeezing out through the exits like toothpaste from a tube.OK when you are young,but not so good when your knees and hips aren't so flexible anymore.[/p][/quote]making stadiums all seated was a kneejerk reaction to football safety.i would imagine most of the stadia in the prem and championship have been rebuilt or upgraded so it wouldn't be a great problem installing new safety barriers.british (or euro) standards for stadia design are second to none so the chances of another tragedy are remote.exits are much more in abundance than they were at the old dell.it would also open up the game for more people as there must be many who can't afford £30 plus but could pay £15[/p][/quote]Why would they put the price down when safe standing doesn't increase the stadium capacity?[/p][/quote]i can't find any figures but i would imagine you could safely get 1.5-2 people in the distance between the centre lines of the spaces between seats there would need to be a handrail maybe every 6 steps.so capacity would be increased.in the lower leagues and abroad standing tickets are generally cheaper so there must be an increase in capacity derek james
  • Score: -1

9:52pm Sun 20 Apr 14

St.Winch70 says...

Access to modern football grounds has changed. It wasn't terracing that was the problem it was lack of controlled entry. This isn't a modern day issue and should be addressed.
Access to modern football grounds has changed. It wasn't terracing that was the problem it was lack of controlled entry. This isn't a modern day issue and should be addressed. St.Winch70
  • Score: 1

1:56am Mon 21 Apr 14

HampshireEd says...

Well with dodgy ankles & knees I'd much prefer to sit however me & the family had no choice but to stand at Villla & three other away games this season or not see the match. So yes bring back standing area's for those that want then & leave the seats for those that prefer/ need them. To those that say standing fans cause trouble I ask; why is there no trouble now when from my experience all the Saints away fans stand and so do most away fans visiting St Mary's ?
Well with dodgy ankles & knees I'd much prefer to sit however me & the family had no choice but to stand at Villla & three other away games this season or not see the match. So yes bring back standing area's for those that want then & leave the seats for those that prefer/ need them. To those that say standing fans cause trouble I ask; why is there no trouble now when from my experience all the Saints away fans stand and so do most away fans visiting St Mary's ? HampshireEd
  • Score: 1

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