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Standing
at football games used to bring an immense atmosphere creating deafening sound
within stadiums all around the country. Sadly, due to various disasters like
Hillsborough caused the system to be completely removed from the professional
game with it only occurring in the national leagues in England and the lower
tiers in Scotland. There is now a new competitor however with the introduction
to safe standing which brings many new safety features to standing, bringing a
much better atmosphere and more excitement compared to traditional terrace
seating. Controversy to fans wishes authorities are spectacle over the new
feature due to the history of standing at football games.

In
football it is argued that the atmosphere and enjoyment is rapidly decreasing,
with a few minor exceptions like huge derby games such as the old frim.  This is found especially in the premier
league in England where huge stadiums turn into soulless goldfish bowls making
games seem to be very boring for a neutral fans perspective. Places like Celtic
Park, Signal Iduna Park (Borussia Dortmund’s Stadium) use this safe standing
feature with Celtic currently having a trial of the system. Both of these teams
are praised for the atmosphere created inside their stadiums and there is no
doubt this has been due to the introduction of safe standing. Even the world’s
greatest players like Lionel Messi are full of praises for the system with
Lionel saying after a champions league game at Celtic ‘It is the best atmosphere in Europe’. Also, the atmosphere in
Dortmund is that good it is nicknamed ‘The Yellow Wall’ which states that its
near impossible for an away team to win there as the atmosphere is so intimidating
and makes the home players raise their game and try there hardest for their
amazing fans. The atmosphere created with safe standing is so good that both
Borussia Dortmund and Celtic have been nominated for the FIFA ‘best fans’ award
with Celtic even coming out on top and winning the competition. Atmosphere is
one of the vital parts of football with it being able to make the fans enjoy
themselves much more and its also able to make the players up their performance
because of the amazing backing they receive. Safe standing can bring this very
easily and it would bring an instant improvement if It was to be introduced
into the beautiful game.

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With
safe standing creating such a great atmosphere it can also be adjusted for
people who want to sit and just enjoy the football or may have a disability.
People believe that with the introduction of safe standing the entire stadium
will be standing making it unsuitable for a lot of people. This is not true at
all. With stadiums like Celtic park the safe standing section will only take up
one stand in the ground. This is very beneficial to people who have
disabilities, young children and people who would prefer to just sit and watch
the football. With safe standing being flexible to all needs its difficult to
understand why people wouldn’t want it. 

From
its flexibility, safe standing also brings a much higher aspect to safety.
Compared to traditional standing, safe standing has seat numbers allocated to
them. This means that people must select somewhere to stand just like they
would have to do if they were sitting. This is a great benefit as overcrowding
wouldn’t be an issue so events like Hillsborough where the police let in too
many supporters as seat numbers weren’t given would never had happened. Also,
the Burden Park tragedy would never have happened because it occured due to
people being crushed as too many people where in the stand. Safe standing also impliments
metal barriers at the front of every seat. This means that people are prevented
from falling over on top of the men, women or children in front of which could
potentially crush them. This is very likely to happen with normal terrace
standing during a last-minute winner which causes incredible excitement within
the fans. It could also occur when people are sitting as they would jump out of
their seats and fall over. After all its called safe standing for a reason. Because
it’s safe. Measures have been taken and researched by professionals to make
sure nothing from the past never happens again.

The
safety of fans is a priority when it comes to football, but money also leads a
significant role in progressing the game and making teams better. Standing
should also be re-introduced into football as it makes more money for the
football club. This happens as the safe standing allows a slightly higher
capacity as the section takes up less space compared to traditional seats. This
means that more people can turn up to the games. An investigation into this stated
that the capacity of a football ground could be increased from 35,000 to 39,500
with only 5,200 seats replaced. The price of the seating ticket was £25 and
could give a maximum revenue of £875,000 for just seats alone for every game.
With the increased capacity tickets would only cost £18 and could still make a
maximum revenue of £913,850 for just buying the seats per game. This is great
as the club is making more money than ever before and that’s what every club
wants. It also suits the needs for fans as tickets could potentially be cheaper
depending what action the club wants to take, and it also doesn’t take up the
whole stadium sticking to all different needs for fans.  

Safe
standing improves the safety of fans greatly and fans are very inclined to
bring it into football. Fans already stand up at football games including
ultras who are very passionate fans, away fans and sometimes fans during a cup
final. These fans do this to try and make the game more enjoyable for
themselves and create a much better atmosphere. But this isn’t safe for the
fans as said previously they can easily be crushed during a mass celebration
which can cause horrible injuries and sometimes death. The clubs of the
supporters could also sanction them and usually at Hampden Park during
semi-finals and final games there is an announcement made declaring a fine if
you are standing, which is never really taken in by the fans of the big clubs
Rangers and Celtic. So why would clubs want to sanction their fans and lose
their support by not introducing safe standing because after all the fans are
just trying to enjoy themselves. By introducing safe standing, it makes the
game far safer for the fans who want to stand, and it would stop fans from
getting pointless fines for trying to have some fun.

In
conclusion, safe standing is a huge part in progressing football to the next
level making it better and more enjoyable for fans. It has yes written all over
it. As many safety improvements have been made by specialists, it makes more
money for football teams, majority of fans want it to happen and best of all it
improves the atmosphere of stadiums. So, lets re-introduce standing at football
games and get rid of the present day boring games in the soulless goldfish
bowls of the Premier League and bring back the passion and enthusiasm of the
old.

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