Date:Saturday October 28 2006
Over zealous stewarding on a weekly basis at the City Ground, sees a number of people ejected from the ground for standing. It seems there is nothing that perks a steward up more, than having to remind fans to sit during the game, better still if they can execute their draconian rules on supporters and eject them from the ground.
Since the results of the Taylor Report were implemented, most clubs in the Football League have complied and made their grounds all seater. There was nothing in this report that stated fans had to remain seated for safety reasons, or that the disaster was caused by fans standing. There were numerous reasons as to why it happened, but standing was not one of them. If you ever question the stewards as to their reasoning, you get the same tired response of 'it's health and safety mate.' How this is hazardous to your health is anyone's guess.
It would be a sensible of the FA to allow clubs to have designated standing areas in grounds, an area where those who want to can stand, free of the constant harassment of officials. This works well in Germany and other parts of Europe, so why not here?
Many fans would argue that since the introduction of all seater stadia the match day atmosphere has been lost. After all when you go to a rock concert there is more atmosphere when standing. In fact REM played at the City Ground recently and thousands of fans stood and watched with hardly a threat to any ones health or safety.
It is unreasonable of supporters to obstruct the view of fans who wish to remain seated and the areas of the ground where stewards have problems with this, tend to be the more vocal parts. The problem does not arise in the BC stand or Main Stand (blocks A and B apart)so why don't the officials let fans get on with it?
Fans make a mockery of the law, when chanting the obligatory 'stand up if you hate Derby' every time the boys in yellow get heavy handed. Expecting any fan to remain seated during moments of high excitement is futile, even unreasonable. A little common sense would not go amiss on occasions, but maybe this is too much to expect. There is no end in sight with this argument, so it should be expected that more fans like the two from West Ham can look forward to being banned for the heinous crime of standing.
Date:Saturday October 28 2006
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