Industry News

English fans suffer ‘worst of all worlds’ in stadium safety – MP

Damian Collins, a Conservative MP and chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, has said English football supporters are experiencing the “worst of all worlds” with current laws regarding all-seater stadia.

Standing in the top two divisions was outlawed by the Football Spectator’s Act in 1989, following recommendations by the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

However, after more than 110,000 fans signed a petition for the government to consider allowing clubs to add safe standing to their stadia, Parliament will host an official debate on the subject on June 25.

Ahead of the debate, Collins told the BBC that fans deserve clarification over the laws. Persistent, unsafe standing during matches is commonplace at many stadia in the top two tiers and Collins said new regulations would help to address this issue.

“You’ve either got to have a system where you have safe standing with barriers, or you have proper stewarding of the grounds to stop people standing,” Collins said.

“At the moment, we’ve got the worst of all worlds which is unsafe standing in large areas of football grounds.

“Now is the time to have this debate and I think it’s rightly being led by voices within football calling for change.”

Image: Jon Darch