Goalposts should move on safe standing after Oxford United announcement
Layla Moran has today urged the Government to think again on its opposition to safe standing in the top two tiers of English football.
Layla's call follows proposals to introduce a safe standing area at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium.
The plans have received support from the majority of the Oxford United Safety Advisory Group, and comes after fellow League One side Shrewsbury Town becomes the first club in England and Wales to install a safe standing area.
Shrewsbury Town is introducing safe standing ‘rail seating’ which allows fans to stand on a terrace, but with each row separated by a rail to prevent crowd surges.
The system operates in football stadiums in Europe and Scotland, as well as other sports in England.
But Layla Moran has raised the issue in Parliament after concerns were raised that if Oxford United and other clubs in League One introduced a safe standing area, they wouldn’t be able to be used if the clubs secured promotion to the Championship - as the Government have banned safe standing areas from the top two tiers of English football.
Layla lodged a parliamentary question to ask if a mechanism was in place to prevent this, but in response the Government reiterated its opposition to safe standing.
“Safe standing offers supporters more choice, a better atmosphere and cheaper tickets. Crucially, it is not a return to the terraces of the 1980s, is already allowed in many other sports and Liberal Democrats believe top level football should not be the exception.
"Clubs that have listened to fans and introduced safe standing should not be penalised if they get promoted.
"These proposals should not be side stepped. It is past time that there was recognition, particularly from Government, that the goalposts should be moved on safe standing.
“All eyes will be on ministers when Parliament debates this issue next month.”