Arsenal fans are to be consulted on whether they believe safe standing should be introduced at the Emirates Stadium.
Premier League grounds were forced to become all-seater more than 20 years ago in the wake of the Taylor Report that followed the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. However, the Premier League announced late last year that it would investigate safe standing, which is allowed in Germany’s Bundesliga, and TickTechNews reported yesterday that Manchester United are believed to be considering safe standing areas as part of expansion plans for Old Trafford.
A representative from the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), which is pushing for the authorities in England to allow safe standing, attended a meeting of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) on Monday to discuss the subject. The Arsenal supporters group have now drawn up a survey to gather views from Gunners fans on the subject.
The AST said: “Towards the end of 2016 there was increased debate about whether safe standing areas should be allowed in English football grounds. Arsène Wenger spoke publicly in favour of safe standing in October 2016.
“This was followed in November 2016 by the Premier League agreeing to investigate the full range of issues around the topic before reporting back to its member clubs. The Premier League said: ‘The clubs have tasked the Premier League with scoping out the safety, supporter, technical and legislative issues surrounding safe standing before any further discussions, based on the facts, can take place.’
“This work will include discussion with supporters and supporter groups, and this survey is intended to seek the views of Arsenal fans on this subject. The results will be reported to Arsenal, the Premier League and the FSF.”
Video: Celtic’s safe standing area explained
It is believed senior Manchester United executives visited Celtic in November to assess the Scottish Premiership club’s trial of safe standing. According to the Independent newspaper, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, which supports safe standing, helped organise the visit to Parkhead’s 2,975-capacity standing section.
Scotland is not bound by the law that banned standing areas in the top two divisions in England in 1994. Celtic were granted a safe-standing licence in June 2015 by Glasgow City Council.