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STANDING IN FOOTBALL

evertonfc.com , 30th May 2007 - 15:58

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The subject has been discussed in the House of Commons - and discussed in the media.

Yet it remains a highly emotive topic - the issue of standing at football grounds.

The Taylor Report in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster recommended a move to all-seater stadia. That has been the case in the Barclays Premiership for more than a decade.

But there is a growing lobby advocating the return to standing at football grounds.

It has to be stressed that such a move would not mean a return to the kind of terracing any football fan over the age of 30 can recall with fondness - such terracing is gone forever.

But there are examples on the continent where small sections of grounds have been modified to enable supporters to stand in safety. There is a strict limit on the number of fans permitted in such areas - and they are allocated tickets just as if they were sitting.

These areas have proved popular with foreign fans - particularly those most loyal of fans who travel home and away and love to spend the match singing at the top of their voices.

However, because of the connotations it presents in the city of Liverpool in particular, the issue is a thorny one.

There is no doubt a standing area can help generate a more passionate atmosphere - it is for that very reason the Gwladys Street became such a focal point for Evertonians.

The reason the issue is once again on the agenda is because it was discussed openly by the Football Supporters Federation in their end of season meeting in Manchester on Wednesday, May 30.

But is it the right time for football to consider the option?

Those against the idea regard it as an unnecessary step backwards. But is it not an issue that should be discussed more openly within the game, because it is increasingly clear there is growing support for the idea.

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