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From August 1994, under the Football Spectators Act 1989 (as amended), clubs in the English Premier League and Championship have been required to provide all-seated accommodation. This followed Lord Justice Taylor’s report (Cm 962, January 1990) into the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989.

The 1989 Act applies in England and Wales.

In July 2011, the Scottish Premier League relaxed its requirement that clubs had to provide all-seated accommodation. Celtic opened a safe standing section in July 2016. This accommodates nearly 3,000 supporters.

Calls for change

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has been campaigning for the introduction of safe standing areas.

The English Football League (EFL) and FSF ran a “Stand Up for Choice” survey between 27 April and 10 May 2018. The results were announced on 1 June 2018 and showed that 94% of fans believed they should be able to choose whether to sit or stand at EFL matches.

A petition calling for safe standing at Premiership and Championship grounds has been signed by over 110,000 people. It will be debated in the House of Commons on 25 June 2018.

The Government’s view

In response to the petition, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said:

(…) The Government believes that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales, while continuing to work closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and football authorities to consider advances in technology and data that may enhance the existing policy…

Documents to download

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