Ready to stand up for fans by following the German example

Celtic's safe standing area that was implemented in 2016 (Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire).
Celtic's safe standing area that was implemented in 2016 (Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire).
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BRADFORD City have indicated that they will throw their support behind the concept of safe-standing at games, if given the green light in future.

Last week, the English Football League (EFL) chief executive Shaun Harvey said the top two leagues of English football, the Premier League and the Championship, could potentially look at introducing the concept for the 2020-21 season.

Standing in the top two divisions has been outlawed since 1994 in line with the 1989 Football Spectators Act.

However, League One and Two teams can implement standing depending on the stadium licence they hold.

Yesterday saw a Parliamentary debate take place after more than 110,000 people signed a petition regarding the issue.

Bradford City have been the most vocal club in our region when it comes to supporting the idea.

The Bantams’ owners hail from Germany, where safe-standing is already present at stadiums including in the Bundesliga with clubs such as Hoffenheim using the initiative to good effect.

“As a club, we want to give fans the best experience,” City co-owner Edin Rahic told The Yorkshire Post.

“They have standing allocation in Germany and it is very, very successful.

“It’s very positive and it creates a great atmosphere.

“We will be watching the pilot with interest as giving our supporters the option to stand is something we would be very interested in.”

Leeds United say they are also are open-minded about the concept being brought into force at Elland Road.

The club, who converted the stadium to all-seater in 1994, recently allowed the Leeds United Supporters Trust to stage a safe-standing roadshow.

The event allowed those attending to experience rail seating similar to that installed by Celtic in 2016.

A club spokesperson said: “Leeds United are open to exploring anything our supporters feel will safely enhance the atmosphere at Elland Road and we would welcome further discussions.”

Similarly, Hull City say they, too, would be open to the prospect of supporters standing at the KCOM Stadium should the legislation be provided whilst Doncaster Rovers also indicated their support for such a scheme.

Rovers’ chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “We’re supportive of the actions the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), the EFL and other stakeholders have undertaken in lobbying for the legislation to be changed in order to allow clubs the opportunity to offer supporters a choice as to whether they sit or stand at matches moving forward.”

EFL chief executive Harvey recently said: “This is about standing shoulder to shoulder with government to deliver what the fans want.

“I will be disappointed if, by this time next year, there has not been significant movement on this issue.”

Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Rotherham, Barnsley and Middlesbrough all declined to comment on the matter.