Pompey get behind safe-standing bid

Pompey fans standing in the terracing at Torquay's Plainmoor ground. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey fans standing in the terracing at Torquay's Plainmoor ground. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841-4464)

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POMPEY have given their backing to the bid to bring back standing terraces.

The club, which is now owned by the fans, has added its voice to the calls for trials of so-called safe standing.

At the Football League AGM, three quarters of the clubs passed a resolution charging the executive team with exploring the steps necessary for safe standing trials to be run.

Following extensive research, the team has now sent a detailed paper to the 72 clubs requesting them to answer questions on the topic.

Standing areas are currently allowed in League One and Two but Championship grounds must be all-seater after a club has played in the second tier for three seasons.

That rule came into effect in 1994 following Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘As a community football club it is particularly important we take on board the views of our supporters when deciding club policy.

‘Many of our fans would like the choice to stand at our home matches, so we fully support the Football League in taking the safe standing debate to the next stage.

‘We hope and believe that the League will get a mandate as a result of this consultation process to enter into a dialogue on safe standing with the respective authorities and look forward to that leading to the introduction of standing areas at grounds like ours in the not too distant future.’

Peter Daykin, the Football Supporter Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign co-ordinator, said: ‘For Portsmouth to back the campaign is brilliant.

‘I have been watching football long enough to remember Portsmouth in every single division.

‘One thing that hasn’t changed is the fantastic support. They are a proper club.

‘It’s great to see the new regime has got on board with this.’