Category Archives: Safe Standing and Stadium Development

Lib Dems make 2015 General Election pledge

Safe standing: Lib Dems make 2015 General Election pledge                   By Richard Conway BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent

The Liberal Democrats want to change the law and allow Premier League and Championship clubs to introduce safe standing at stadiums. The party has confirmed to BBC Sport it plans to make the pledge as part of its 2015 General Election manifesto.

Currently, the Football Spectators Act 1989 requires safety authorities to ensure fans attending games in England’s top two divisions are seated.

However, the party is not advocating a return to open terracing.  It believes rail seats, popular in German football, should be introduced if clubs wish to install standing sections.

Rail seats can be locked in an upright position to allow fans to stand and lean against a barrier.  However, the seats can also be unlocked to comply with all-seater stadium rules, as and when required.

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has led a campaign in favour of safe standing for several years.  “Football can’t bury its head in the sand,” said an FSF spokesman. “Tens of thousands already stand at games.

Several Premier League clubs – including Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Swansea City – now back the introduction of rail seats on a trial basis.

The Football League has also lobbied for a change in legislation given a number of its 72 clubs would like to implement standing in their grounds.

Chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “Since being given a mandate by our clubs to lobby for a change to the law on the use of standing accommodation, we have had useful discussions with the Sports Minister and other relevant stakeholders on this matter.

“We recognise that this is an extremely emotive issue and that significant change isn’t necessarily going to happen overnight. However, a logical first step would be for safe standing products, such as rail-seating, to be licensed for use by the relevant authorities. This would enable one of the 21 Football League clubs that is not currently required by law to have an all-seater stadium to install a pilot scheme at its ground.

“This would give everybody greater insight into the use of this type of accommodation and help take the debate forward in a cautious and responsible manner, as it would not require any changes to the existing law as these clubs are already permitted to have fans standing at their matches.”

Posted in Safe Standing and Stadium Development

Sportsfan Panel in favor of Safe Standing!

74% of Sportsfan Panel* voted in favour of re-introducing safe standing areas

A recent Sportsfan Panel survey which asked for opinions on the prospect of safe standing areas being reintroduced into football stadiums across the UK, a current issue that is being widely debated in the media and throughout clubs across the country. The survey targeted those who regularly attend live matches at Premier League and Championship level, as currently the legislation only requires the top two tiers of English football to have all-seater stadiums.

74% of respondents voted in favour of safe standing areas being reintroduced to football stadiums, with 80% of these stating that it will improve the atmosphere at live matches. 57% also felt it would make the matches cheaper to attend, with 38% indicating it would create a more communal and friendly feel between fans.

Other key comments made in favour of safe standing included;

  • Many fans already choose to stand, particularly at away fixtures, and so as it happens anyway it would be advisable to make it legal and safe,
  • There is a large demand to bring back a very traditional element of watching live football,
  • It would allow more fans to attend games, which for stadiums that consistently sell out, would provide access for more fans and enable clubs to increase attendances.

The Bundesliga was highlighted by many as a league that operates safe standing effectively, and across other sports, Rugby Union, Rugby League and Silverstone were acknowledged by our panel. Many also felt that football stadiums which allowed standing prior to the Hillsborough tragedy offered safe standing.

However, for those (26%) not in favour of welcoming back safe standing, 80% had concerns with safety aspects, 63% felt that there would be a negative impact on those bringing children or attending as a family. Other comments made by panellists included Liverpool fans feeling they could not justify the decision to return to standing, following the tragic events at Hillsborough. Another main concern for those not in favour was due to a potential reduction in visibility of the pitch and players.

*Sportsfan Panel is a unique research panel of approximately 30,000 sports fans and participants who are available to give their views on a wide range of sport related issues. It is comprised of consumers, spectators and participants from a wide and wonderful variety of sports.

Posted in Safe Standing and Stadium Development

London Road Stadium Development

Its all systems GO!

After much negotiation the final piece of the jigsaw has finally been agreed between the Football Club and the City Council on the development of London Road.

At an extraordinary meeting of the full council on 31 July, Councilors unanimously voted and approved a budget of £1million to retrofit the London Rd end with seats, following the completion of the new Moys End stand and educational centre project. With this approval, both the Club and the Council leaders have agreed a new 25 year lease and the option for the football club to purchase the stadium anytime in the first 10 years of the new lease.

The football club had challenged the amount of rent payable under the present lease as the rent they collect from other commercial ventures around the stadium, was much less than the Council had projected. Therefore an independent rent review was conducted to negotiate a more realistic figure.

Rent for the year ending Sept 2013 has been reduced from £500k to £300k and the Club are actively making payment previously withheld, whilst negotiations took place. For the next 12 months or so, during the demolition and construction of the Moys End project, an abatement of £280k has been agreed to compensate for loss of revenue and extra security required during the construction. When the Moys End project is completed, the rent will rise to £380k per year and rise again to £430k after the retrofit of the London Road terrace.

As for the London Road End, the statement is that PCC & PUFC will still work together on achieving a major redevelopment of the LRE as the preferred option, however this can only be achieved if a developer to fund the project is found. If a developer cannot be found then the retrofit will ensure the club will have an all seated stadium, which is  required when we get back to the Premiership. 

Posted in Announcements, Safe Standing and Stadium Development

Stadium Development Agreement at Last!

Full Details on PUFC Website
link below
 
 
so its now down to full Council approval at EGM on 31st July
at a quick glance it looks like a fair agreement for the football club and the tax paying residents of the City. 
We understand the proposed Retro Fit of the London Road End, is the basic commitment required to ensure we will have a 4 sided all seated stadium in the 25 year lease contract.
I also believe that the previously declared plan to build a new stand at the London Road End, with commercial use beneath it is still a target for the football club and City Council.
Lets hope we can now move forward and develop the modern stadium we need.
Posted in Safe Standing and Stadium Development

STADIUM, Development Update as at 10 August

So nothing is happening at Moy’s End!  Well, yes it is, and by the time you read this article, speculation may have become a confirmed fact.

 On 15 June 2012 Peterborough City Council and Peterborough United Football Club issued a joint statement on the football club ground investment and development.

 “The Football Club and the City Council are in discussion about the delivery of the new Moy’s End stand and educational facilities. Currently, the club have less than   2 years left on their lease and as the council is investing significant funds into this development, discussions have inevitably turned to future leases, the football club’s critical ambition to eventually own the ground and the remaining investment needed to secure an all-seater stadium. These discussions are continuing and both parties are keen to conclude them as soon as possible.”              Statement Ends.

Until these negotiations have been concluded, we understand that the contract to for the work on Moy’s End cannot be awarded. Clearly both the Football Club and the City Council need to be in agreement on a future lease before developing the site.

Following our meeting with the club on Mon 6 August, we were told that the negotiations that have been on-going between the club and the city council are almost concluded and the council will soon be able to award the contract for the demolition and re-building of the Moy’s stand.

Then after the short lead in period from award to commencement of work, site work may be anticipated to commence in October with completion still being programmed prior to the start of the 2013/14 season.

At least the Millwall, Leeds, Bristol City and Wolves fans will be lucky enough to visit the most popular away end in the football league before it disappears.

The sceptics, and I have been amongst them, may say that similar promises about imminent starts on the scheme have been made on a number of occasions this year but nothing has happened. True; but with the deadline for completion of a new stand before the 2013/14 season critical, it does seem that this present timetable is more certain.

The club and council should also soon be announcing the conclusion of the agreement that has reached with regard to the future ownership of the stadium. Indications are that this will be a win/win agreement with both the ambitions of the club and the interests of the taxpayer being satisfied.

Although there are not yet any firm proposals for the rebuilding of the London Road end stand there have been some very positive moves towards the incorporation of Safe Standing areas into the eventual rebuild. Following a visit by representatives from the club and council to the Hannover stadium – and a starring role for Peter Burrow in a film that was being made there! – Bob Symns, on behalf of the club, issued a very positive statement about the wish to incorporate such areas into the new LRE stand. Meetings are being arranged with the various authorities involved and the club are pressing for Posh to be the trail blazers in giving fans what they want.

Now all that is required is for the team to make sure that we are watching them play in at least the Championship from our new stands – C’mon the POSH!

Paul Froggitt.

Posted in Safe Standing and Stadium Development