EFL fans want a choice when it comes to safe standing at matches, survey reveals

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4th July 2018 15:48 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

EFL fans want a choice when it comes to safe standing at matches: A survey of more than thirty-three thousand football fans has found 94% of Championship supporters and 92% of League One and Two supporters want to choose between safe standing and sitting down at football matches. 
The survey, carried out by the EFL (English Football League) as part of its ‘Stand up for Choice’ campaign, found the majority of supporters would attend more games if licenced standing was an option. 
Over 33,000 fans responded to the survey in less than two weeks – making it the largest of its kind to date. 
The idea of a safe standing section at EFL football grounds is mainly welcomed by supporters aged 18-34. The survey showed that 69% would prefer to stand, whereas 22% would rather be sat down. 
In Scotland, the champions, Celtic were granted a safe-standing section at their Celtic Park stadium, and Shrewsbury Town of League One were allowed rail seating, which has been praised by clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United and, former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger.
Last year, West Bromwich Albion had a proposal for safe-standing rejected by the government.
Almost half (47%) of football fans polled said they would go to more football matches if there was safe-standing available.
 An average of 61% of stadiums were full at EFL matches last season, meaning offering safe-standing could improve attendances. 
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the EFL said:
“Football supporters clearly want the option to stand at football matches and we see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed the choice to have the match day experience they want."
A petition of 112,000 signatures forced a debate in parliament about safe-standing on 25 June 2018. 

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