“It’s a very difficult situation for the club to sort” - debate rages over Norwich City’s calls for fans to stop standing during matches at Carrow Road

Norwich City fans at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd. Norwich City fans at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Saturday, February 23, 2013
6:30 AM

Norwich City supporters have been told they must sit down during matches at Carrow Road - or risk the club having “serious sanctions” imposed upon it.

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A Canaries statement pointed out the club’s hierarchy understood some people would stand during “exciting moments” of matches.

However, when asked by the Evening News how persistent standers would be dealt with, a club spokesman said no further comment would be added.

The club said in the statement: “City are appealing to all fans to help avoid the risk of serious sanctions being imposed on the club by remaining seated during games at Carrow Road.

“The Norfolk Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is working with the club to help ensure supporters’ safety and enjoyment of the match is not compromised by persistent standing during games.”

Twitter reaction

Michael Brigham @briglar

I quite like standing but my lad doesn’t! I find people leaving early really annoying, we should do something about them too.

Julian @joolians

There’s been no problem in block D (of the Barclay Stand) last few seasons. Many of us can stand. Last game was awful though. Told to sit. No atmosphere.

Dev Chakravarty @dev_music_ncfc

Need to lobby FA and government for safe standing, at least a trial run. Criticising club and CEO for enforcing the law is pointless.

Andy Armsby @AndyArmsby

Looks like NCFC are finally going to kill off any atmosphere at Carrow Road for good.

Jamie Barnes @Barnesy1715

Yes standing at football is better than sitting, but club don’t make the rules, FA do, so go abuse them! Don’t blame @NorwichCityFC

HARRY @harryyyscott

Why has people standing suddenly became an issue? Past two seasons stood constantly, no problems then?!

Standing at football matches has been a long-running issue in the professional game ever since the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 - which saw 96 Liverpool fans die in an overcrowded standing area.

The subsequent publication of the Taylor Report in 1990 saw all football stadiums eventually become all-seater.

However in recent years there have been calls for safe-standing sections, similar to those being used in German football, to be introduced in English stadiums.

The Safe Standing Campaign being run by the Football Supporters’ Foundation has been attempting to persuade government and football authorities to trial safe-standing sections.

The campaign has been backed by 21 English professional clubs, including Aston Villa, Sunderland and Swansea City in the same division as Norwich, the Premier League.

The campaign has not yet proved successful though and in December of last year Sunderland announced it had ejected 38 supporters who insisted on standing so far this season.

At Carrow Road, some supporters in the lower tier of the Barclay Stand and Snake Pit area are known for standing for much of league matches, leaving the club in something of an awkward situation.

Robin Sainty, the former chairman of the soon-to-be-disbanded Norwich City Independent Supporters Club, said: “It’s a very difficult situation for the club to sort, I don’t envy them at all.

“Whatever happens they are going to upset a number of people as there are a lot of people who are vehemently for standing at matches and a lot of people are vehemently against standing.”

Mr Sainty, who sits in the Jarrold Stand, added: “As football fans the priority is to watch football so I would hate to see people losing the right to watch football matches because they have decided to dig their heels in.”

This afternoon the Canaries host Everton at Carrow Road in a Premier League match, where home and away fans will receive a note appealing for them to follow national regulations regarding standing.

The club also said in the statement: “Seated areas are not designed to safely accommodate large numbers of supporters standing either in front of their seats or in aisles and gangways.

“In addition, young, elderly and infirm fans often find their view of the game partially or totally obstructed by people standing in front of them.”

The statement was released with the backing of the Norfolk SAG - which has the power to close sections of Carrow Road where persistent standing is a serious problem.

There are safety advisory groups around the country which ensure football clubs are doing everything they can to minimise matchday safety risks.

The Liverpool (SAG), for example, has reduced the away ticket allocation of Manchester United fans at Liverpool and Everton’s stadiums for the past two seasons because of United fans standing in gangways.

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28 comments

  • Those who do not wish to stand can elect to have the shock system to their seat disabled. For a fee of £19 a season, added to the season ticket price.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • Woop re win ..Anyway they inferred today over the tannoy that it was sort of ok and understandable to stand during exciting parts of play .. That means during the Fulham game no-one should have stood up and today against Everton everyone for the last 10 minutes ..who is the arbiter on what classifies as exciting ...!..

    Report this comment

    John

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • What a great opportunity for some real journalism, is it only Norwich who are doing this? Have the authorities told all clubs they could be in trouble? Are other clubs telling the fans to sit? This could be a great article, or you could simply cut and paste stuff from the Canaries' website, the choice is yours.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • It is one of these debates that can and probably will run and run. The solution is to have dedicated standing areas as has been said, the one problem this will bring is that if you have a season ticket for a seat that will become standing area how is this dealt with? Yet again the debate needs to be on a national level and have the PL and the FA come out with a sensible ruling, ok maybe asking too much. I prefer to sit but do get on my feet to celebrate goals and the odd occasion to vent anger, that is when I get to a match, but I would not want to force the fans who wish to stand not to have a place to do that. The club should do a survey amongst all the season ticket holders for their views - OK not all fans are season ticket holders but the vast majority are and it would at least give actual numbers to take the debate forward. OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • People come for the atmosphere, atmosphere that is created by the standing ppls. You ever heard of "sit down, shut up"? That is exactly what will happen... atmosphere will be gone, ppls will stop coming to the games... why do you think we came to the matches in league one? Because og great football??? :-D

    Report this comment

    Norwegian Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • The atmosphere at grounds is generated by the fans , think back to when the Barclay was standing and remember what it felt like ! The boys spraying the ball about , bearing down on goal , the Barclay following every pass and tackle and as they get closer to the goal so do the fans , that surge of excitement followed by the roar when it goes in the net . Nothing , anywhere is able to compete with that feeling ! Dortmund have shown it can be achieved with safety at the forefront of the planning , Most of us don't have the ability to be on the park , but think back to those days and we felt like we were . But , if the people behind you can't see , then sit down . We Norwich fans should look after each other , and hope for standing to come back soon !

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • The club is not to blame for teh standing situation. This was madated by the Taylor Report that was far-reaching and is still currently in effect. The answer if for Clubs to campaign for, and sign-up to, participation in pilot schemes to allow limited standing areas in grounds on a trial basis. It should be relatively simple and easy to implement such measures and, after a period of success with such experiments, Standing Only areas could be re-introduced.

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • My question would be... in light of the fact that the Hilsborough report and inquest have been shown to be largely ficticious and a cover up, the Taylor Report being produced in the wake of that situation, blaming standing fans and alcohol as reasons for the disaster when it was crowd control and inadequate Health & Safety at Hilsborough, why are the laws introduced as a direct result of the Taylor report to restrict two of these things still in effect, surely these laws are now invalid as they are based on the incorrect details provided... the other debate of standingsitting has been around for years. The fan should have the choice, standing areas and seating areas.

    Report this comment

    DavidBell99

    Monday, February 25, 2013

  • If, like me you have to sit beside a big fat bloke then standing can seem quite attractive, until the same big fat bloke steps on your toes!

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    DocOhNo

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • The team are doing their part by cracking down on persistent goal-scoring and trying to limit the excitment level in the ground. I have attended many baseball games and you get the "Seventh Innings Stretch" where the crowd have to get up and do "YMCA" or something to stop them from falling asleep.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • BFBs should be allocated wider seats - at a pro-rata price. Ground capacity should be defined in Metric Tonnes.......

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • One solution would be to fit seatbelts.

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    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • The club is not to blame for the standing situation. This was mandated by the Taylor Report that was far-reaching and is still currently in effect. The answer if for Clubs to campaign for, and sign-up to, participation in pilot schemes to allow limited standing areas in grounds on a trial basis. It should be relatively simple and easy to implement such measures and, after a period of success with such experiments, Standing Only areas could be re-introduced.

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Oh come on PW. Are you seriously trying to tell us any serious Norwich fan does not know where not to get a ticket if he doesn't want to stand?!

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • some of the turgid football played over at carrow rd the past few weeks, is enough to send to sleep those still sitting.

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    nrg

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • The answer is simple give people the choice. Have standing areas and seated areas in grounds and everyone is happy. Those who want to sit buy seated tickets while those who wish to stand buy standing tickets. Remember like we did pre-Taylor report with no probs at carrow road. Another example of nanny state interference.

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    AJB

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • To make a safe standing area would make it safer for those caught up in the current mess who can't see anything as they will know where not to go.Away supporters too could have the facility.The club has this wrong.

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • I think the fans are voting with their feet !! It is not difficult to create safe standing terrace areas these days. The tragic events of the past were all avoidable - with properly designed facilities and properly managed stadium there is no reason for standing at football matches to be at all unsafe. Look at the positives, teh fans want to stand, we can get more spectators into terranced stands AND hopefully we can increase our revenues in the process. Seems like a WIN-WIN-WIN to me. Hopefully we will get a win today AND the fans will be standing !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Well said Dubai Canary, for once we agree on something, praying for 3 points today

    Report this comment

    Canaryinslovenia

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • I dont care if people want to stand, but if people behind them want to sit down, they cant, they have to stand to be able to see the match - a vicious circle. There are many people who are oly standing just to be able to see the match, they would prefer tobe seated. A case fr bringing back part standing nd part seating staiums!

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    Henry

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Dubai, I posted what is almost an "identikit" of your posting here, on another board! Even down to the "win-win-win" bit. Needless to say, I agree with your thoughts on this! Maybe the Snakepit could be renamed the Oxter? Enough of this sitting @ the keyboard, I feel discomfort in my lower legs, am getting a pain in the a**e and need a wee. I like Richard`s idea. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • problem is the ones who constantly stand. most sit down again after a few seconds. i am old school and prefer to sit. never liked the terrace after bad memories at fa cup tie at the old dell. find it difficult how the club can inforce shutting sections, but i suppose it wont be down to them.

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    canaryboy71

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • It is only a minority in the context of the whole stadium...What about at full time when the whole stadium stands en masse to head for exits , what next ? having to remain seated until your section is told to leave ! ! watch Match Of The Day tonight and see all the other clubs with pockets of standing...NCFC shouldnt be the yardstick for the rest of the clubs..Dont blow this out of proportion

    Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Oh for goodness sake if a Canary was in a cage would you expect it to sit in a chair or stand on a perch ? Please Tweet your opinion :p

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • How could Norwich FC deprive these fans of their much needed weekly exercise? Think of all those calories going unspent by forcing fans to sit.

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    NROO

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Prolonged sitting can lead to deep vein thrombosis - time to get up and exercise from time to time. Prolonged sitting leads to an increase in prostate and colon cancer - is this really what NCFC wants to promote? Long term standing however, leads to varicose veins and swollen feet. Why not have the first 15 minutes sitting, the next 15 minutes standing etc. and the last 15 minutes either with jumping jacks or laying down depending on the result?

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    richard black

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Doe's Ed Balls stand or just make gestures

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    PaulH

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • John, next season seats will be wired to provide an electric shock when the Grand Moderator of all that is Exciting decides something is...exciting. There has yet to be an appointment to that position, indeed the vacancy has yet to be advertised. It won`t be; the job`ll be a shoo-in for one of the EDP hacks, probably Prolix Paddy.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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