Football League joins supporters on standing campaign

Stand Up for Choice

The English Football League (EFL) has backed the fan-led standing campaign and is now urging fans to tell their clubs why they want all-seater laws to be changed.

The FSF and EFL have teamed up to create the “Stand Up for Choice” survey which is looking to gather the thoughts of thousands of football fans across the country.

The ‘Stand up for Choice’ campaign has been designed to provoke a progressive and informed debate whilst seeking to highlight the significant support that exists amongst football fans who want the ability to have a choice between standing and being seated at EFL Championship matches.

“Our clubs and their fans should be part of the solution,” said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey. “We recognise that to effect change we will need a partnership approach and this will commence with our survey to demonstrate that those who attend fixtures want to see the change and be offered a choice, even if they still choose to be seated.”

The joint EFL-FSF survey comes as an online Government petition passed 100,000 signatures this week which could lead to the issue being put up for a Parliamentary debate.

EFL clubs have officially supported trial of new licensed standing areas since 2014 and Wolverhampton Wanderers this week announced that it would consider piloting rail seats at Molineux.

“The EFL would like to see current legislation reviewed by the Government,” Harvey added. “And ultimately amended so that Clubs have the opportunity to provide standing accommodation to their supporters at all matches played in the Championship, League One and League Two, should they wish to.

“By surveying fans, we will be in a position to provide Government with a clear indication of the strength of feeling amongst those supporters who attend EFL matches every season.”

The FSF will be briefing MPs on the issues around standing at football next week as part of efforts to educate politicians on the issue, ahead of any Parliamentary debate.

Peter Daykin, standing co-ordinator at the Football Supporters' Federation, said: "The FSF campaign has always been about providing fans with the choice to sit or stand at football.

“Those who prefer to stand should be able to do so and help generate the fantastic atmosphere that our game is famous for, while those who prefer to sit should be allowed to without having to worry about their views being blocked.

“There is no reason that this cannot be delivered safely by clubs.

"Eighteen millions fans make their way to EFL games every season and the Championship is the third most attended league in Europe - theirs is a voice of experience which must be listened to within this debate.

“It's great to have such an important football institution engage so positively with the campaign, working hand-in-hand with fans to make the case for standing at football."

The survey runs until May 10th and the data from the survey will be presented to the relevant Government and safety authorities to provide clear evidence to deliver an informed debate on this issue.