The councillor in charge of issuing the license allowing St Mary's to operate has welcomed an open meeting to discuss the problems of standing facing the Northam End next Thursday.

Southampton City councillor Richard Williams, the Cabinet member for environment and transport, is one of a number of influential figures set to attend the discussion at the Maple Leaf Club, Polygon, at 7.30pm.

He could be joined, depending on their schedules, by local MPs Alan Whitehead and John Denham, Chief Supt Graham Wyeth from Hampshire Pol-ice, Rupert Lowe and Andrew Cowen from Southampton FC and Football Supporters Federation spokesman Mark Longdon.

The meeting is being organised by the South-ampton Independent Supporters Association and Cllr Williams said: "We are currently looking into a stadium monitoring panel report into the recent games, in particular the Manchester City and Fulham matches.

"This is an ongoing problem and we are trying very hard to resolve it. We are looking for the support of the Southampton Indepen-dent Supporters Assoc-iation on this matter.

"We're only looking at a small minority of fans, up to about 200, who per-sist in standing up and are in breach of season tickets conditions and ground regulations.

"We are not going to have another Hillsbor-ough on our hands."

Saints fans are welcome to attend the meeting and play their part in the discussion and SISA chairman Nick Illingsworth added: "We definitely support Cllr Williams on this issue.

"The meeting in an initiative of SISA and something we have been trying to organise for some time now.

"People need to understand there is a very real chance that the stand will be closed very soon if they don't sit down."