Bristol City FC has given its support to the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign.
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has been leading the Safe Standing Campaign since 2002, lodging petitions as well as speaking with MPs and clubs around the world.
Indeed City supporter and member of the Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust, Jon Darch, has led the Safe Standing Roadshow for the FSF – which visited Ashton Gate five times last season.
The Roadshow showcases the rail seat system already used in Germany, which the Safe Standing Campaign says should be allowed in England and Scotland.
Bristol City makes every effort to create the best support experience. Ultimately though, the safety of all supporters is paramount and the club adheres fully to the legislation and guidance regarding safety and standing at sports grounds.
The club is aware there are a number of supporters who would welcome the opportunity to safely stand at matches, and believes that consideration should be given to whether the rail seat system maintains the highest standards of supporter safety.
Since 1994, all clubs in the Premier League and Championship have been required to provide all-seated accommodation for all spectators.
However, last December, trials of rail seats were sanctioned north of the border in the Scottish Premier League, and Aston Villa expressed an interest to become the first top flight club in England to trial safe standing.
Now, Bristol Sport chairman Martin Griffiths told bcfc.co.uk
: “A lot of hard work has gone into the Safe Standing Campaign and having seen the rail seat system, there could well be merit in the concept.
“Ultimately football clubs cannot do anything until the relevant authorities agree to allow Safe Standing into stadia.
“We will support the FSF’s efforts to encourage appropriate authorities to investigate the rail seat system with a view to defining criteria under which it could be introduced in future at grounds.”
He added: “At present there are no immediate plans to introduce Safe Standing into Ashton Gate or the new stadium project at Ashton Vale.
“But we offer our support to the FSF campaign to allow for the introduction of Safe Standing areas at football grounds in the future and would actively consider it should the relevant legislation be brought in.”