Campaign launched to bring safe standing to Fratton Park

Fans at Fratton Park
  • Councillor launches campaign to bring safe standing back to Fratton Park
  • Club currently unable to look at option due to law regarding all-seater stadia

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to bring safe standing to Fratton Park.

Pompey are unable to look at incorporating safe standing at the ground due to current government legislation.

Councillor Scott Harris

Now, a councillor is urging fans to back a plea to put pressure on the government to change the law.

Councillor Scott Harris, chair of the City of Portsmouth Sports Council, has set up a survey for fans to voice their thoughts after writing to sports minister Tracey Crouch to look at altering the law.

Current legislation means safe standing cannot be implemented in all-seater stadia, such as Fratton Park.

Cllr Harris said: ‘Football is a game for ordinary people like me. I eat, sleep and love it. I look forward to away games in the league when I know there is terracing and those games sell out quicker than any other. This is the reason why I want to push the agenda on this.’

It seems a generation of supporters across England are going to miss out on being able to stand at matches due to historic out of date legislation.

Councillor Scott Harris, chair of Portsmouth Sports Council

Ms Crouch’s response states: ‘The government believes that all-seater stadiums are the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at matches.’

Cllr Harris said he was ‘disappointed’ with the response, adding: ‘It seems a generation of supporters across England are going to miss out on being able to stand at matches due to historic out of date legislation.’

He cited the likes of fellow League One club Shrewsbury Town crowd funding for rail seating and the introduction of rail seating at Celtic Park in Glasgow as evidence that times were changing since the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989.

A recent Pompey survey on the topic had more than 3,300 fan responses with 82 per cent backing the concept.

Cllr Harris also recently sat down with new club owner Michael Eisner to discuss the topic.

Mark Catlin, Pompey chief executive said: ‘Portsmouth FC have supported – and will continue to support – the idea of exploring safe standing in principle and would welcome further discussions taking place with the government and the FA on how this might be achieved.’

Councillor Donna Jones, the city council’s leader, said: ‘Portsmouth City Council is keen to support the club and its supporters to lobby for a change if that’s what the fans want.

‘After a promotion last season and with new owners committed to the future, I am hoping the football club continues to grow adding to the significance of the city on a national stage.’

To take part in Cllr Harris’ survey, head to surveymonkey.co.uk/r/86KJWY9.

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