Aston Villa Consider Adding Standing Area in Stadium

January 18, 2012

Aston Villa are looking into the possibility of a safe-standing area at Villa Park in a bid to boost attendances and improve the atmosphere.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner broached the subject with fans at a supporters’ consultation group before their 1-1 home draw with Everton on Saturday and was encouraged by the reaction.

Villa’s interest comes after the Scottish Premier League confirmed after a general meeting of the league’s 12 clubs at end of last year that they will consider requests for pilot safe-standing schemes.

Scotland is not bound by the legislation that banned standing areas in top-flight football in England, sales which came in to force after the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

Based on similar models in Germany, the Football Supporters’ Federation has reasoned for the introduction of safe-standing areas and Safe Standing Campaign co-ordinator, Peter Daykin, believes it could be a possibility for Villa and other English clubs.

“We’re delighted that the SPL has engaged with its supporters and reacted to fan demand for standing in this way. The setting up of pilot schemes is the next logical step in the debate and we will keenly watch developments in Scotland,” said Daykin.

“We can only expect to see the clamour for safe standing in England to grow yet further.

“If the Scottish experiment proves to be successful, the Premier League and Football League could join our call for the legislation to be reviewed.”

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