Lively meeting held at Norwich’s Carrow Road ground to discuss issue of safe standing

David Wiltshire speaking in the Safe Standing debate at the Norwich City supporters' meeting. Photo: Bill Smith David Wiltshire speaking in the Safe Standing debate at the Norwich City supporters' meeting. Photo: Bill Smith

Thursday, March 20, 2014
10:03 AM

More than 40 Norwich City fans attended an open meeting yesterday to discuss the issue of safe standing at Carrow Road.

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A recent survey of Canary supporters has shown an overwhelming majority believe the atmosphere at games would be improved if safe standing areas were built.

The issue of safe standing has been the subject of emotive debate since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

And that was the issue under discussion at the ground as members of the Norwich City Supporters Trust held a meeting on the subject.

Representatives from the Barclay End Projekt, who conducted a survey of more than 800 people finding that a total of 88pc felt safe standing should be introduced at Carrow Road, were among those at the meeting.

David Wiltshire, from the Projekt, said safe standing in grounds was “affecting so many supporters at every club”.

He said: “It’s not something that’s a return to the past but something that’s never been seen in this country in a stadium before which is being used on the continent by thousands of supporters and which has brought great benefits to them.”

Mr Wiltshire said it was not a political issue but should be “for the club and supporters to make their own decision if it’s what they want to see.”

Daily Express sports writer Mick Dennis, who is president of the Norwich City Supporters Trust, hosted the meeting and said he was “ambivalent” but also interested in the issue.

Jon Darch, from the Safe Standing Roadshow, is an advocate of so-called Rail Seats - robust metal seats with a high back forming a sturdy rail for safe standing.

He said the name of the game was to “educate and inform” people about what he accepted was “totally new territory” but just asked that “clubs look at it” and perhaps trial it.

Joe Ferrari, a spokesman for the club, said he and stadium operations manager Chris Bailey were there to hear what the fans had to say.

But Mr Ferrari said there would be challenges for the club in terms of safe standing at Carrow Road.

He said it would cost money to remodel or reconfigure stands which could potentially involve the removal of all existing seats or relocation of concrete steps.

Mr Ferrari also said a potential increase in capacity if safe standing was introduced would also have implications in terms of policing, safety, medical cover and catering.

But Mr Ferrari said he would report back views from the meeting to “the powers that be”.

The lively meeting heard that the next generation of fans under 17 might not want to go to games if there was not the capacity to stand, while another fan who was opposed to standing said his eight-year-old son could not see because people stood in front of him.

By law, top-flight clubs are required to have all-seater stadiums, but a national campaign to amend government legislation is gathering pace.

As previously reported the survey of City fans revealed 88pc said safe standing should be introduced at Carrow Road, and 87pc said it would improve the atmosphere.

Now the survey’s organisers hope to begin a conversation with club bosses about supporting the national campaign to change the law, which could allow German-style rail seating in the lower section of the Barclay stand.

The seating is already in use at many German clubs – including at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, which has a capacity of more than 80,000.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Wiltshire said it was “positive” the club had hosted the meeting on “such an emotive issue” and hoped what was discussed would be taken away so that things could move forward to a situation where there would be accommodation in the stadium to give every single supporter the chance to watch the game as they wished.

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35 comments

  • I haven`t seen much evidence of any real intention of enforcement at Carrow Road, malmocanary. The Stewards in the areas it tends to happen most do not really seem up for confronting the culprits. Discretion being the better part of valour....

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • I didn`t see Ingo Wagenknecht`s offering. Has he an alter-ego? ncfcboy romps home with today`s Dullard of the Year Award.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Ook, Blaff, at least one of your fans `got` your baldy comment. I think.. Gek.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Help me, Waclor. I thought I had a nice little caption for this photo. It included references to BP2 and his family. Archie wouldn't come out to play. Probable reason: alopicea. Perhaps you'll have more luck. Bonus point if you can get the word "seagull" or "Big Mac" into your caption.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • What is the price of the standing area at Man U compared with seating areas? This may have a large bearing on those who choose the standing area.. Obviously by the size of the meeting not many fans want to stand so why not put a few standing places at the back of a stand so these who prefer to stand will not block the view of the seated fans. Probably find if the standing area was so placed no one would want to stand.

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    goldie

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • …..Derek Mc.!....I watched both of the games you referred to... as I do ALL Norwich City matches .....Live on TV, and from the comfort of an armchair.....spoilt only by some opinionated know all...called a commentator....Thank goodness for the button that turns the sound down ....'Standing' in my opinion is a side issue for those that want to return to the past!....As I said earlier....Watching Football matches will become more and more an entertainment on TV, Tablet, or phone that can be viewed as and when you want to see it...and where!....The next big advance needed there is for ambient sound to be available without the commentary!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • And I never said you were a d**kh**d. I just implied that you post like one.

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    User Removed

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Thanks for that, Gek. Wish I had your wijsheid. I asked my wife how to spell "Alopecia". I checked it on Google and she was right. When I got to type the bl**dy word, I got it wrong. I think my Care Worker is stuck in traffic. Meantime I'll take another of my panegyric tablets........to make the voices go away.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • …..I have never been to a concert starring Frank Sinatra, or Matt Munro, but I do have the right to like or dislike their singing....although I cannot sing! I thoroughly enjoy the music of Andre Rieu, although I cannot play a violin... I enjoy the comedy of the Two Ronnies , but have never attempted to perform on stage... I can't stand the bloke called Mike McIntyre...I prefer Whisky to Gin..Brandy to Vodka....I also enjoy watching Norwich City Live on TV, and comment on my observations....I don't want some jumped up little f*rt telling me that I am not allowed to give my opinion because I am not a season ticket holder!!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • The stresses of our current lowly league position are beginning to tell. All those supporters who attended last night appear to have lost their hair.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Safe standing will be installed at most prem grounds within 5 years you can bet on it. Safe standing is not terracing some people are too stupid to differentiate the two. You can't halt progress, you can just moan about it and explain how much better things where years ago.

    Report this comment

    ncfc boy

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Sorry Archant, an overwhelming majority??? 750 out of 24,000 and only 40 turned up, not all of whom were in favour - I think you need to revisit your dictionary....

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    Mikanary

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • I never said you couldn't have an opinion, I said it counts for nothing. That's the difference.

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    ncfc boy

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • PS. Great stuff, Stewpydd. Post of the day. All power to your gramophone records.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Yes, it is a health and safety issue at Carrow road, maybe somebody should tell the EDP, who are making out its political. Safe kneeling next? what utter piffle.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • If anyone watched the Champions League involving Chelsea and Man Utd, people were standing behind the goals all games, and in the Chelsea games some away supporters were seen standing on the railing in the upper tier, and nothing was done in either games, one rule for them one rule for the rest, well done FA

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • 'The issue is actually with the ground regulations, set by the league, which say that persistent standing in seated areas whilst the play is in progress is forbidden and may result in ejection from the ground.' is NCFC the only club who try to enforce this rule? Did anyone see the Man U game last night - at both ends of the ground the fans were standing in seated areas all game! - can it be another instance of the one rule for top clubs and one rule for all the others. Sorry it does not add much to the debate above but it does prove that standing in current seated areas is not necessarily dangerous and preferred by many supporters

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • There is the small matter of somebody making a tidy profit out of flogging those bumfreezer `seats`...

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Most fans would like to watch a quality game, the matter of doing so while standing or sitting is of little relevance with the current team!

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    KeithS

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Caption : "At a sparsely attended meeting to discuss safe standing at Carrow Road, questions from the floor were dominated by BP2 and three other members of his family, who were so exasperated by the answers provided that they were pulling their hair out by the time the meeting finished."

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • …..ncfc boy! ...you are an introverted fool!.....steady on would be proud of you!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • 1 if you are a midget standing at the back then you are an idiot 2 it's allocated, not a scrum. No more people are allowed in than can fit. You don't turn up and pay on the day and like I said before you do not go to games so you don't get to have an opinion that counts on the matter. Why would you deprive what there is a clear market for when it does not affect you in the slightest? You can keep kiddin yourself that you are a fan but that description you just gave is quite frankly a disgrace. Stay at home. Please.

    Report this comment

    ncfc boy

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Always happy to helpen een vriend, Blaff. Nothing to tear your hair out about. Warning - those prescription panegyric pills you`re popping are more potent than Dubai`s Premier Pollyanna Potion. Je vriend, Gek.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • 'Utter piffle' from Ingo Wagenecht who obviously knows little about 'safe standing' or even bothered to research it!!!

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    Lord Horn

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • .....about 40 people turned up...that's nearly as many as people that comment on these boards..so to get to the point!....what is the reason for installing new 'rail seating’ if no one will use them?...apart from kids who have to stand on the seats because they can't see!...I suppose they and and short folk will take a collapsible stool along to give them more height!....Then all hell will break out!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • So, a fans' group that noone has really heard of, organises a survey that almost noone knew about, and which only 800 people responded to, and all of a sudden that indicates there is "a clear market and desire" for safe-standing at Carrow Road? Whatever happened to democracy? I would be very much interested to hear if the same result (88% in favour) was to be found if all 20,000+ people who regularly attend Carrow Road were surveyed or asked to vote on the issue, with a proper and informed debate preceding such a vote. One suspects the result may well be much more balanced. I would be sorely disappointed if NCFC decided to act on this issue without further consultation of their fans, as the market research so far is sorely lacking (and potentially biased).

    Report this comment

    ChibiSeicento

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Alopecia, even, Blaffen? I hope you are not now exhibiting a tendency to `baldyism` ;-) On another board I have implored Mattias to come back to us. Have the Daleks confiscated his keyboard? Has his Tardis (currently in the form of a Budapest Bullburger Bar) drifted into the Cayman Quadrangle? Or is it just the superb Norfolk Broadsband being its normal self? Do not lose hope, only about 3 days to wait for Mustard TV on Freeview, Channel 8. I`ve seen the map of where you might be lucky enough to receive it. Norfolk doesn`t seem to be that well covered really. A bit like BPbp`s pate. (no, NOT paté or even páte)! Gek.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Not sure why a change in the law is needed. The 'safe standing' set ups I have seen still include a flip down seat for each supporter, so the legal requirement to provide seats for all supporters is met. The issue is actually with the ground regulations, set by the league, which say that persistent standing in seated areas whilst the play is in progress is forbidden and may result in ejection from the ground.

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    a fine city

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • You are not likely to get more than 40 turn up if the first people hear of the meeting is on the day of the meeting itself! Poorly organised, or at least publicised. As for the numbers surveyed - it's called a 'sample'. if you want to canvas every (or the vast majority) fan's opinion, add the question and a tick box to the season ticket renewal forms.

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    Smudger75

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • …..Come on then ncfc boy....you seem to have a big mouth....explain to us stupid ones... just what is meant by 'safe standing!.... if the picture on the other board is anything to go by it looks to me like double rows with the tallest in front leaning up against the rail....or do you know different?.....and I for one much prefer an allocated seat to the free for all that happened years ago!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • I remember those days in the Barclay when fans threw potatoes laced with razor blades at each other. Then they built that cage to separate the opposing fans. Other so called fans would take a swing at you just for making eye contact, while others would urinate down your leg as well as theirs. I wonder if NCFC Boy was\is one of those punching, urinating, spud-throwing types. Sounds like he might be. I think I'd prefer to sit with a dullard next to me than have to stand next to him.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • "Mr Ferrari said he would report back views from the meeting to the powers that be”.... What a shame none of the "powers" could be bothered to turn up in person to listen. Perhaps they were busy checking what effect the Budget had on their share portfolios. Anyway, it seems fairly obvious that a decision has already been taken on this issue.......a big fat "NO". Poor Mattias will be gutted...........assuming anyone can find him.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • So of the 700 who were in favour only 40 turned up for the meeting and why are they not standing up in the picture? A definite lack of commitment to the cause.

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    Sherbert

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Mr Ferrari said there would be challenges for the club - He said it would cost money to remodel or reconfigure stands which could potentially involve the removal of all existing seats or relocation of concrete steps. That's the issue for the board - spending money, not putting in safe standing areas. One look at Dortmund's 20,000 capacity stand alone should convince people that it is worth it, unless of course the board does not want all of us stood at one end next season in Div 2 (oh sorry the Championship).

    Report this comment

    Soglio Star

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • …..Had my doubts about that one getting through! …..

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

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

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