Safe Standing is “an idea whose time had come" - leading campaigner supports new campaign

A joint campaign by the English Football League and Football Supporters' Federation calling on fans of EFL Clubs to introduce safe standing has been welcomed by leading campaigner, John Leech.

England and Wales could be just months away from its first-ever Safe Standing area after leading campaigner John Leech threw his weight behind a new joint campaign.

Former Liberal Democrat MP John Leech, who has long campaigned in favour of Safe Standing and the introduction of rail seating, said: “The current system simply doesn’t work; fans who attend matches still continue to stand, but do so unsafely. The solution is to introduce railed Safe Standing at football grounds which will make it safer for spectators, and which recognises and accommodates those fans who already, and will continue to stand.

“Safe Standing offers supporters more choice, a better atmosphere, and cheaper tickets. It is an idea whose time has come and I’m so pleased that real progress is finally being made.”

During his time as MP Mr Leech submitted several bills to Parliament and launched major cross-club campaigns. Now, the Manchester City season-ticket holder of 35 years has enthusiastically thrown his weight behind the new joint campaign and urged others to support it too.

Plans to introduce Safe Standing inched forward a year ago when top clubs agreed to hold further discussions over Safe Standing and Shrewsbury Town fans’ group launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £75,000 to install 550 rail seats at their New Meadow ground.

A survey by national fans group The Football Supporters Federation found 92% of fans were in favour of the introduction, but standing has been banned in English football’s top two divisions since 1989 when 96 people died in the Hillsborough Disaster but Mr Leech said that clubs should look to Celtic Park in Glasgow to see how successfully it has been implemented there.

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