Derby County have shown their continued support towards Safe Standing in response to a recent consultation paper sent to all 72 Football League clubs.
The Rams were amongst a number of clubs at the Football League’s AGM last May to help pass a resolution asking the League’s executive team to explore the steps necessary for Safe Standing trials to be run.
Derby have remained in regular contact with the Football League ever since on the issue and provided information during their consultation process in order to provide further details to the League’s board.
Their detailed 23-page paper sent to the 72 clubs asked for their response to four questions – with Derby’s response appearing in bold at the end of each question:
- Should the Football League approach the minister for sport to request that the 'all-seater' stadia requirement for Championship clubs be reviewed with a view to the re-introduction of standing accommodation? (YES)
- Should the Football League approach the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to request that rail seating products be licensed in Football League grounds? (YES)
- Should clubs be permitted to accommodate supporters in rail seating in the Championship? (YES)
- Should clubs be permitted to revert from seating to standing accommodation in League One and League Two following relegation from the Championship?(YES)
Derby County’s Chief Operating Officer John Vicars said: “I have been to the same venue twice inside on week to watch firstly a football match and secondly a concert and the ground rules are distinctly different.
“If we are serious about marketing the game as part and parcel of the entertainment industry then we must start by looking at how we treat our supporters, many of whom have indicated a strong desire to stand safely at the iPro stadium.
“Giving people the choice to stand or sit would certainly be a positive step in that direction.”
Steve McClaren, Derby’s Head Coach, said: “I am all for Safe Standing and it was what we were brought up with; standing at football matches and stamping your feet to keep warm.
“It was something I experienced in Germany and if people wanted to bang a drum and bounce up and down they could do.
“It helped create a great atmosphere and I think it is something that has to come in.”
A recent Safe Standing Roadshow attracted growing support and the Rams publically stated their desire to continue working closely with the Football League to explore the possibility of installing safe standing sections.
The system, which has been widely used in the German Bundesliga for a number of years at the likes of Wolfsburg, Hannover, Werder Bremen and Stuttgart, enables quick switching from seating to standing areas.
The ‘rail-seats’ 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.