Welsh Conservatives welcome government u-turn on all-seater policy

The UK Government has indicated that it could be about to shift its policy on safe standing at football matches, and according to reports is poised to commission a review of the policy which demands all-seater stadia in the top two tiers of the English Football league.

It follows a petition signed by more than 100,000 people calling for Premier League and Championship clubs to allow safe standing.

It is understood that Sports Minister Tracey Crouch now feels that advances in stadium design and public enthusiasm for safe standing mean that it is time to review the policy.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies – has long campaigned for the law to be repealed.

In 2014, Assembly members of all parties voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion tabled by Andrew RT Davies AM, calling for a safe standing pilot to be held in Wales.

He said:

“If these reports are true then I would welcome the Minister’s pragmatic response to growing public support for safe standing.

“Having campaigned on this issue for a number of years alongside organisations like the Football Supporters Federation, I am delighted to see an appetite for dialogue on standing at football grounds.

“This legislation was drafted in a different era, to address a different set of problems, and opponents of Safe Standing have run out of excuses to hold back the tide of progress.

“Anyone who has witnessed the persistent standing of thousands of supporters at each and every Premier League match would find it hard to conclude that the all-seater policy “remains the best means of ensuring the safety and security of fans”, and the time has come for a rethink.

“A review of the government’s all-seater policy would be welcome, and should be the first step in a journey towards repealing a law which unfairly demonises football supporters.”