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Safe Standing

From The Times website:

Fan’s view: Chelsea v Liverpool was like a return to good bits of the 1980s

Part of the new safe-standing pilot scheme, Chelsea’s encounter with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge was the first match in England’s top flight to feature standing fans since 1994. Peter Trenter, chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group, detailed his experience

“It was a fantastic occasion. Of course, the crowd is always lively when we host an enthralling game against a team like Liverpool, but the atmosphere was certainly enhanced by safe-standing. It was remarkable to see the Shed End dominated by fans on their feet, who seemed to be embracing the scheme wholeheartedly. There were no negatives to the experience and, crucially, I felt totally safe.

I saw no people entering from other parts of the ground without the correct ticket and I never felt as if the stand was becoming too crowded or intimidating.

The stewards did their job professionally, the supporters were well-behaved and we had a great time watching a superb game. There was a sign saying “Safe Standing is Permitted”, a variation on notices which enforce the opposite, and I thought this was a nice touch to mark the occasion.

I have been a Chelsea season ticket-holder for more than 40 years and when I compare the experience to watching football from standing areas in the 1970s and 1980s, all the parts I missed returned yesterday. We could cheer on Chelsea passionately and have a brilliant sing-song.

Equally, all the reasons why all-seater stadiums were enforced by law were not present. Allocating each ticket-holder their own space kept us sufficiently spread out, and the absence of spectators barging in where they were not supposed to be prevented any safety risks.

I am now even more optimistic about the future of the scheme. There are five clubs participating in the pilot this season and I am very confident that each stadium will follow Chelsea’s lead by showing what safe-standing is all about”


‘Chelsea Supporters Group’ can be found on Twitter and Facebook

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