Rams among League clubs backing fans' campaign for safe standing
DERBY County are one of 13 clubs supporting a campaign to reintroduce standing at football matches.
The Football Supporters' Federation is hoping to win the backing of MPs for its plans for a small-scale trial at Premier League clubs.
It believes the pilot scheme would show standing – outlawed after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 – is now a safe way to watch football.
The Rams have been listed as one of the clubs supporting the proposal – the others include Aston Villa, Brentford, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Watford and AFC Wimbledon.
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The Safe Standing Campaign aims to persuade the Government, football authorities and clubs to accept the case for introducing, on a trial basis, limited sections for standing at selected grounds in the stadiums of Premier League and Championship football clubs.
So far 52 MPs have backed an early day motion (EDM) tabled by Roger Godsiff, the MP for Birmingham Hall Green, on October 15.
It calls for the introduction of a pilot of new standing technology – called rail seats – at football grounds.
Rail seats, which are widely used in Germany, are robust metal seats with a high back including a sturdy rail that fans can hold. The seats can fold up flush and be locked between the uprights creating wider clearways than along rows of normal seats.
Aston Villa and Peterborough United have already agreed to a small scale trial of the technology.
This is a safer option than what is currently happening at football grounds where swathes of fans choose to stand during matches, campaigners argue.
But the campaign has already met with some opposition from the chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
"There are 96 reasons why it should not be allowed," said Margaret Aspinall, whose son died at Hillsborough.
"Standing should never, ever come back. I do not think there is anything safe about standing.
"I feel insulted that people are trying to fight for justice for Hillsborough while this campaign is growing."
Peterborough United chief executive Bob Symns said he "completely respects" the opinions of the Hillsborough families and other people in the game who may have reservations.
He said he "understands their opinion" as he has been at grounds facing crowd issues.
"With the greatest of respect, I think this is something new," said Symns.
"What I am asking is that this be piloted. This is about choice. This will be for clubs who are interested in it.
"We can pull all the evidence together. If a football club and their supporters are interested in it, then we should trial it.
"We are not going back to standing stadia. We are talking about democratic choice for the game we love. Many people want to stand."
Mr Symns suggested that a trial at Peterborough's 15,000-capacity ground, which still has terracing, would be at the home end and made available to about 2,000 season ticket holders.
Symns said: "It would be a safe area."