The Case for Safe Standing at Ibrox

safe standin1

Today’s news that Celtic have introduced a ‘safe-standing’ area in the coming years, with Dundee Utd set to follow,  has opened up the debate as to whether we should follow suit. The atmosphere (or lack of it) at Ibrox, is a problem which has been avoided for the past three seasons. With the new board in place and fresh optimism about the future, surely it’s time to make Ibrox roar again.

It’s obvious that recent divisions between fans have upset the dynamic within the stadium. Younger supporters crave a European style experience – singing and standing for 90 minutes – whereas the older generation, who’ve held season tickets for decades enjoy a more traditional, relaxed experience. Both are absolutely credible and every paying customer should have the right to a suitable day out.

With safe-standing, those who wish to sing and stand for 90 minutes can do so without disturbing those around them. It will help increase both the noise levels and the capacity of Ibrox. It will encourage fans and freinds to stand together and with the increased capacity of the stadium, it’ll potentially make way for reduced ticket prices – more likely to be next season.

6668819863_3e5a71978e_o

So where would the section be located?  

The reaction from fans today seems fairly mixed with regards to a preferred the section. Celtic have used a section of around 1400 seats (which will increase to 2800) – not that we need to copy them.

If we were to use a similar size, it would be sensible to find an area with the least amount of season ticket holders – to avoid the possibility of asking them to move. I’m sure any unhappy holders could be compensated with reduced prices for the season.

The Broomloan Road stand currently holds around 7’500 fans. Around a quarter of this could be used for a safe standing area – perhaps the current location of the Union Bears. The UB could help implement the atmosphere side of things. Using this area would mean a capacity increase of around 1500, using the average size of rail seats. Whether the club would want an increased capacity for away fans during Old Firm matches would be a potential stumbling block.

When seating was initially introduced to Ibrox, it was the Enclosure that remained standing. This could potentially be another option. Again the issue of season ticket holders would have to be addressed, but a return to standing in the enclosure could be a thing of beauty.

aye ready

Is it Safe?

The issue of safety at Ibrox is obviously of major concern given the tragedies that have sadly stricken the club in the past. In his report on the Hillsbrough Disaster, Lord Justice Taylor cited the summary of recommendations from his Technical Working Party that stated that “standing accommodation is not intrinsically unsafe”.

The Football Licensing Authority (now the SGSA), when challenged by the Football Supporters Federation to back up the statistics they were using to support such claims, had to admit they could not be substantiated and withdrew them, conceding that “…the injury statistics we produce do not provide firm statistical evidence that standing is less safe than seating”.

Financially Beneficial?

Obviously the club have a list of priorities more important than safe standing at the minute, but once those have been addressed the safe standing idea should definitely be considered for future financial benefits. A strong Rangers team competing again in the premiership will no doubt have a high number of sell-out matches. This is where safe standing increases revenue.

For example 1800 fans paying £30 per ticket comes to substantially less than say 3300 fans paying £20. This is the model the Germans have modelled themselves on very successfully, and we should now be following them.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Case for Safe Standing at Ibrox

  1. As a committed fan, season ticket holder and shareholder I have held the view for many years that Rangers give ground in terms of ‘the 12th man syndrome’ by giving Celtic FC supporters the entire Broomloan Rd Stand. Policing has nothing to do with my point as segregation of a stand is already tried and tested at Celtic Park. Let CFC have the same (reduced) amount of tickets as other away supporters and have them contain their fans within the Broomloan/Sandy Jardine corner. This would obviously be reciprocated at Celtic Park (ie. less tickets for RFC), however I believe that this is a trade-off worth paying. The positioning of our fans at CP (ie. tucked away in the corner) is undoubtedly a strategy to negate the effect of our support. This is sportsmanship.It is adopted not only at CP but elsewhere (ie. Barca, Real Madrid) where away support is banished to upper tiers. Let us be less ‘sportsman-like’ and show more sportsmanship – as others are to us. WATP.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just a suggestion from Hamburg 🙂
    (Its working since 1999)

    Standing terraces for league games:

    Chair for International games :
    (Reduced capacity in Hamburg of standing terraces from 10.000 down to 5.500 seated terraces)

    So, all is possible if RFC will go for it.

    WATP

    Like

  3. We have been to standing Areas across the lower leagues and out sold these small stadiums .
    Great atmosphere created , we had it in the enclosures let’s bring it back .

    Like

  4. A section in the front of all four stands that way will be an atmosphere in all four sides hart would spread rather just coming from one section.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s