English Championship football club Norwich City has issued a warning to fans that they could lose their seat at the team’s Carrow Road home stadium if they constantly stand during home matches.
In a letter sent out to supporters, the club said it is under “direct threat of having capacity reduced” after being told that the standing level at its all-seater stadium is “unacceptable”.
Persistent standing at all-seater grounds in the top two tiers of English football is not permitted, under the terms of the Taylor Report that was published in 1992 after the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 football supporters were crushed to death.
According to the BBC, a Norwich spokesperson said the second-tier club has been working with the Norfolk Safety Advisory Group to “tackle an issue with persistent standing in Block A of the lower Barclay Stand this season”.
The spokesperson added: “This follows very strong complaints from season ticket holders in that area whose views of the game have been partially or wholly obstructed for long periods due to people persistently standing in front of them.”
Neil Thomas, founder of the Barclay End Norwich Supporters’ Club, said while he understands the situation, he is keen for the club to implement a system that will allow fans to stand safely in certain parts of the stadium. Norwich is one of several clubs looking at safe-standing options for its home ground.
Thomas said: “We obviously don’t want any areas being closed in the ground. I feel this is something that has been forced upon the club.
“We’ve been pushing for safe standing for quite a while, obviously that needs a legislation change to happen, but people do have the expectation to stand if they are in a more vocal area of the ground.”
Norwich currently sits 16th in the Championship, without a win in its last eight matches in all competitions.