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No standing room on football terraces

Council urged to fight reintroduction in stadiums, described as a slap in face for Hillsborough victims

Written by . Published on February 19th 2014.


No standing room on football terraces
 

FORMER Lord Mayor of Liverpool Ron Gould says the re-introduction of standing areas at football grounds would be a slap in the face of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy. 

And his wife, Cllr Tina Gould, is calling on the city council to be in the forefront of a campaign to oppose any changes at premiership and championship stadiums. 

Cllr Gould, a Lib Dem member for Mossley Hill, has tabled a motion for debate at next month's city council meeting. 

Cllr Gould and Ron Gould, an honorary alderman of Liverpool, want the city to be the first to kick into touch the idea of standing areas. 

Ron Gould, a lifelong Everton fan, said: “I have been going to Goodison Park since the days of the boys’ pen, when most people would stand. We can’t allow football to return to those days. Hillsborough was the turning point. 

“Leppings Lane terrace was an abomination with its safety rails, crowding of fans into the stadium, and whilst accepting modern day stadia have been transformed let us not sleep walk into another disaster.” 

Manchester United are reported to be supportive of measures to introduce safe standing, following the Bundesliga. Aston Villa, West Ham, Cardiff, Arsenal and perhaps others in the Premiership, want to trial the scheme and, according to some reports, the vast majority of fans support the scheme. 

Alarmed

In the motion to the council, Cllr Tina Gould, says: “One of the key legacies of the Hillsborough tragedy was the introduction of all-seater stadia in top flight football. Ground safety in England is now the envy of the world. 

“I hope the city council will be alarmed at recent suggestions for the re-introduction of standing areas at Premiership and Championship grounds. 

“Such a possibility, even for a trial period, must be resisted. I believe the council should call on local MPs to resist any attempts in Parliament to allow amendments or changes to the legislation that led to all-seater stadia.” 

She is calling for a council-led debate on the issue, involving local councillors, both Liverpool FC and Everton FC as well as the Hillsborough support groups. Such a debate should, he said, include advice on whether the city council's own Grounds Safety Panel will have the legal right to reject standing areas, notwithstanding any decisions made on this question at national level. 

Cllr Gould added: “It is ironic that in the year marking the 25th anniversary of England's worst football tragedy, there are calls for the clock to be turned back, placing at risk football fans. 

“Despite the eagerness of some owners of major football clubs to generate more income by cramming as many paying fans as possible into grounds, the safety recommendations applied in the wake of the report by Lord Justice Taylor have clearly demonstrated the importance of ground safety. 

“The Hillsborough Disaster was the last stadium tragedy in this country, and I hope Liverpool City Council will ensure there is never a repeat of such an event. Even if standing did lead to cheaper tickets, the price is just not worth it.” 

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Mick Flaherty (via Facebook)February 19th 2014.

Seems to be completely side stepping the issue of police negligence that caused the disaster if you ask me . Politicians , you think they would keep out of these things after decades of covering up the details .

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