Norwich City bosses welcome triggering of safe-standing at football debate

Norwich City fans. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich City fans. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Bosses at Norwich City Football Club have welcomed a summer debate on safe-standing at grounds and pledged to keep pushing for it to be allowed at Carrow Road.

Almost 1,800 football fans in Norfolk played their part in triggering a Parliamentary debate over the introduction of safe-standing at Premier League and Championship grounds.

An on-line petition to the government has topped 100,000 signatures, which means it will now be debated in the House of Commons in the summer.

And the club has welcomed the debate, scheduled for June 25.

A club spokesman said: 'We're very pleased that safe standing will now be debated in parliament following the successful fans' petition on the subject.

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'The club has gone on record saying that we support a change in the current legislation, to enable us and other clubs in the top two divisions of English football to introduce safe standing sections.

'We believe it's safer than the current reality of clubs like ourselves trying to manage persistent standing in areas designed for seating, by thousands of fans at every game.

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'Concerns about children having to stand and balance on seats in order to be able to see over people standing in front of them led to us being impelled to relocate a number of supporters from the Barclay stand earlier this season to other parts of the ground.

'A solution like the rail seat model successfully employed at Celtic and at other grounds in Europe is not only safer for supporters but also offers more choice – with those who want to stand having the option to do so, leaving those who want to sit with an unimpeded view of the game.

'We welcome the success of the petition and the strong support it received from people here in Norfolk and we will continue to play a pro-active role in mounting calls nationally for safe standing to be permitted at grounds in the Premier League and the Championship.'

Clubs in English football's top two tiers have had to be all-seater since Lord Justice Taylor's report into the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

But West Bromwich Albion's plan for 3,600 rail seats, which can be locked in an upright position and allow people to stand, was rejected by sports minister Tracey Crouch.

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