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The Common Sense Option

Many of you may know that the campaign for safe standing at grounds is hitting its stride recently, with over 10 clubs signing up for trial versions of the 'rail seating' method used in some places in Germany.

Why do 9/10 fans believe this should be introduced? Firstly, gathering vocal, mainly younger supporters in a single area of the ground, all standing, without doubt improves atmosphere. This was seen at the Maribor and Panathanaikos games through the 1882 movement (a separate topic but if you dont know about it I would reccommend you look it up and give it a go! Next game they're doing is the Coventry one in block 30) and is generally accepted as true (look at our away support).

If you don't think that atmosphere at a football match is a good thing then I don't really know what to do with you tbh... except to say that at our home games recently the atmosphere has been appalling from the very start, and look how good our home records been! Coincidence? People talk about making the Lane into a fortress again. Well, that starts with the fans. Why do Stoke have such an impressive home record and poor away one? Because the Britannia is one of the loudest and most intimidating home grounds in the league thats why!

My two main arguments centre around two things that anyone who goes to the Lane regularly will recognise as problems needing to be fixed: 1.Conflict with stewards. At a football match I want to stand and sing my heart out for the entire game and I know many people feel as I do. I get threatened with ejection from the Lane around every other game, depending on where I'm sitting and being treated like a criminal for simply wanting to show passion at a football match is, for me, ridiculous. The stewards in the Park Lane are only doing their job, but when stewards threaten you with ejection and criminal prosecution for simply standing up, things tend to get heated and resentment is created, sometimes outright abuse of stewards. A standing area dramatically reduces this tension and allows both stewards and vocal fans to have a more peaceful game.

2. Choice. This, for me, is the key point. I totally accept that some people do not want to stand and sing for an entire game, and that these people are inconvenienced or irritated by yobs like me who do. A standing area gives those that want to stand an area to do so and those that are inconvenienced by said standers the freedom to do as they will. I fail to see how this is not the common sense option!? Everyone is happy and watching a great game of football without any of the tension that is created at the Lane at the moment. There are other arguments such as cost. In Germany, where they have pioneered standing in the last 20 years, the average price of a ticket is 17 pounds.

In the kop stand at Dortmund where 25,000 people stand and create one of the best atmospheres in the world, I read recently that you get tickets there for around 10 pounds. I don't know about you, but I could sure do with football matches being that cheap!!! This is largely due to the standing areas, where tickets are cheaper. The stadiums get an increased capacity, so any cost is gained back through extra tickets sold. How does that not make sense???

Lastly, if you feel as I do, what can you do? Well, on a purely Spurs related basis you can email daniel.levy@tottenhamhotspur.com sharing your thoughts to the club. If a major club like ours were to support safe standing trials it would be a massive victory for the campaign. Similarly you can sign the Fighting Cocks survey which they will send to the club. On a more general note go to the Football Supporters Federation website where you will find a safe standing petition and also a way to email your MP about the cause, which is being tabled in parliament at the moment. Happy to hear your opinions!

Written by Wiltshirespur




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The journalist

Writer: Wiltshirespur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 12 2012

Time: 3:53PM

Your Comments

Not a good idea for those vertically challenged....I'm 5ft8in which isn't that short?....but it's still a pain when your'e trying to get served at a bar, so it wouldn't be much fun at the stadium for 1hr 30mins either!
mountainyid
do we really expect a Premiership club to offer standing at reasonable prices? I can see a situation where the clubs would happily use the scheme to have an extra few thousand fans in the ground, but because it was a fans choice to put themselves in that area, they would be expected to pay the going rate, just because the club knows they could sell the tkts two or three times over in most cases
oxfordspur
mountainyid read the article please...
wiltshirespur
ox you make a valid point, but we're going on the German basis here, which is all we have to go on really. The fact is, I can see Spurs offering a say, 16-25/30 age discount in the standing areas to draw the younger fans in for tickets at a more reasonable price. Maybe not all ages though.
wiltshirespur
in an ideal world, that would be good, but I really think that the club and others dont give a *****e about fans and just want the money. it will be a case of if you want to stand, that is your decision. It may well work that there would be a good will compromise (ish) that for example if the area when seated fitted 5000 fans at 50 the new one fitted 10,000 at 35 quid, meaning the club made more money, but also game the fans cheaper seats at the same time
oxfordspur
perhaps I'm just being cynical ;-)
oxfordspur
thats exactly what I mean, I'm not suggesting that the price need be put down to a tenner like the german ones (if only) but just from 30 to 20 pounds would make SUCH a difference for so many fans!
wiltshirespur
and yes, the way football fans are treated nowadays we have a right to be cynical! however, having emailed spurs on this topic regularly recently, the club seem to be trying, or at least attempting to create the impression that they are trying to listen. EMAIL THE CLUB if you want things to change, and the amount of moaning that there is on this site suggests to me that some people may want changes ;)
wiltshirespur
Ox, can I suggest a change to the poll? one that reflects on the issue here. we all know that fans will either want to sit or stand and there are large numbers on both sides, but the issue is whether they would object to the introduction of trials of safe standing at the lane. Just thought it would be a more worthwile question!
wiltshirespur
Pardon my ignorance, but I did not know what rail seats were.... This argue filled me in nicely.... http://www.bristolcityst.org.uk/pdf/What%20are%20rail%20seats%20PDF%20-%20final.pdf
TonyRich
This article.... Sigh....auto correct....
TonyRich
I dont really see the problem with safe standing as long as it is managed well. as you say there is already a well proven system in place in Germany, so we know their system works, but also might be able to tweak it to make it better for all parties
oxfordspur
sorry tony but I already had to cut the article down to less than 4000 characters! cheers for the link! on the football supporters federation page theres a great one too: http://www.fsf.org.uk/campaigns/view/safe-standing-mythbuster
wiltshirespur
I think it`s good because you can separate the family side ,and the singing fans who when mixed ,both to a degree ruin eachothers entertainment & enjoyment of the game .
It is best if you can divide the ones who like to sing & get over passionate, swear ,drink too much ,go over board etc to the ones who just want to chill .
They can both watch a game feeling comfortable & not so restricted ,more & more women & young children are going to games so let let them have their area too .It needs to be made enjoyable for everyone ,& for everyone to be at ease ,& it would make it easier to police & organise
big cockeral
When you buy a ticket what sort of fan is next to you ?
You don`t know ,to have areas gives you a better picture of what sort of fan is around you .
Take the kids ? you want to be around others who are taking their kids
Want to sing from the rooftops ? scream , shout & act an arse ? then you want to be around those similar .

Everybody has & wants a different match day experience ,give them that experience .
I agree with standing areas 100% for atmosphere alone ,& also feel a family area would give a good balance to that argument
big cockeral
I have no problem with it as long as a) we never forget Hillsborough...b) the police can still spot criminals, offenders and hooligans in the crowd, c) the capacity for crowd trouble is not increased, d) teams have an incentive to introduce it, and do not lose income, e) the atmosphere DOES improve. The fear that with sold out games, you may just get any sod in the standing area...not by choice, but just to get into the game itself. A non-vocal fan is not going to become vocal just because he/she is standing.... However, with a capacity of 55k, that should not be a problem. It would be great to incorporate this into the initial build of our stadium rather than having to adapt it later. We must avoid the "even deader" atmosphere that a new bigger stadium brings....
TonyRich
I suppose that given my age, and given that I can remember gates at Spurs of sometimes 60,000, my opinions on the subject of standing room in football stadia would be predictable. After Hillsborough which was largely the result of police miss- management of crowd entry, and the caging of fans, and only exerbated by the issue of terracing, there was in my humble opinion a "over the top" reaction leading to all seated stadia and a complete change to the football supporters culture, and a comparative lack of atmosphere in modern grounds compared to yesteryear. I know that a return to all standing grounds will never happen, but the availability of an option to stand, at possibly a cheaper ticket price cannot come soon enough. We in this country should take a serious look at Germany, regarding ticket prices and attendances, and determine which drives the other, they have succeeded in preserving football as a "working man's" leisure pursuit, and deserve credit for so doing.
Frank
A complete non-starter I am afraid, especially after recent coin throwing and other public order stuff. Imagine getting successful CCTV prosecutions based on a standing crowd. If anything authorities will be looking for more reasons to tone down the atmosphere, which as has been shown can get pretty toxic. Just watch any game on TV when an away player is taking a corner, and look at the gurning faces of hatred behind him. That ain't banter, it's moronic, and sadly football is still over-inhabited by mouth-breathing knuckle dragging t*sspots intent on exhibiting their neanderthal machismo. Because of them, we all have to suffer, and be subject to safety regulations that, inevitably, impacts on atmosphere.
lordjohnny
The reason why fan behaviour is getting out of hand is because they have been suppressed & are now lashing out .
The more you tell someone not to do something the more they are likely to do it .

Set them free ,police it well & still set a limit ,it will be OK .

The devil makes work for idle hands
That phrase is so true today ,the more you suppress the worse people get ,it`s human nature .
big cockeral
I used to go to the lane during the 70s and LOVED standing on the terraces cheering, singing, screaming and shouting. I also went to a few games at other grounds where I was sitting, and as far as I was concerned there was NO comparison. Standing on the terraces beats sitting hands down end of. Give the supporters a choice. It's up to them whether they want to take it or not. @ mountainyid I'm only about five seven/eight, but I NEVER had any problems seeing what was happening when I was on the terraces. If I couldn't see before the game started i just worked my way into a position where I could see. Pretty easy really when you use a bit of common.
chrishove123
Frank's post somes it up perfectly, cannot add anything. The ridiculous thing is at ALL away matches, EVERYONE stands throughout the game anyway! There are actually no greater dangers in regulated standing areas compared to seating areas, its the nanny-state gone mad - but as LJ says - it aint gonna happen.
StillRickyVilla
Also agree with TonyRich - it would be wonderful if the new stadium incorporated new regulated standing areas like in Germany. Imagine a new 15,000 kop end, the atmosphere would be incredible. Trust the Germans to get it right.
StillRickyVilla
Singing or chanting obscenities does not improve atmosphere and I fear a return to standing on terraces will attract more of that ilk. I can sing sitting down (so could Westlife allegedly). Is there any correlation in the increase in hooliganism at German matches?
Love totty
love totty chanting obscenities goes on at every game regardless of the fact that there are seats I don't see how this would make a difference! another point is that these safe standing areas are actually SAFER than having low-backed seats when a goal is scored!!! (anyone whose ever been pushed one way or the other during celebrations can attest to this and there have also been studies) SRV its such a distant proposition that I dare not get my hopes up :( that said we will have to find a way to ensure that the new stadium has a good atmosphere...
wiltshirespur
Love totty, your post signifies perfectly the way football has gone in the last 20 years. We don't want all those working class hooligans spoiling our prawn-sandwiches do we? This is football, not a night at theatre. Standing creates a hundred times the atmosphere compared to sitting. And those who stand are NOT hooligans!! They are passionate fans who want to support the team vocally and thereby play a proper part in the outcome of the game. There is no greater feeling than to think you have influenced the game by giving the players an extra 10% uplift through a wall of noise, particularly behind the goal. This is massively diluted with all-seater stadium, although like has been said, can't see it changing and we just have to make do.
StillRickyVilla
Love totty One isn't able to get the same power and projection singing sitting down as one can when standing up. This is from Every vocal tutor I have known. Westlife? Hmm pretty poor example of someone BELTING it out whilst sitting down. Could you imagine Lulu sitting down to sing Shout??? So standing will raise the noise level and make it a more intimidating place to come to. And you're never going to stop the obscenities at a football match.
chrishove123
What is with this dodgy bloody lynx advert, nothing apart from a pain in the royal butt.
chrishove123
Sorry SRV, football has not changed its demographic, despite an increase in pricing. The prawn sandwich stuff is cobblers, as there are still as many undesirables as previously, only they are leavened by an extra layer of corporates in new stadiums, and firmer policing. We all go to matches and keep our heads down and turn a deaf ear and blind eye to people who in any other environment would probably get arrested for their behaviour. They haven't stopped going because of cost, and no steward dares take them on, never mind inform the police. These untermensch, as I cannot think of another insult to give these aggressive yobs who spew their bile, and threaten others, makes a return to standing terraces a no go for authorities. Imagine being the politician who ratified standing and another disaster occurring subsequently. No politician will be that brave, or stupid. As for corporates, they are a necessary element these days to help fund the eye-watering salaries, and their indifference to the traditions of the game is annoying for real fans and, embarrassing as an example, at the Woolwich, when they can't even be bothered to see the second half. However, I'll wager it wasn't one of these supposed hoorays who threw a coin on Sunday.
lordjohnny
wiltshirespur, chrishove123, I knew that post was going to come back and bite me on the arse. I had to go out before I got to read the article but couldn't resist that post. But, I agree with your point about improving the atmosphere at the Lane. As a 54 year old I remember standing on the terraces, singing, swearing and jumping up and down like a loony...it has to be done! We do need more passion at the Lane, like Stoke and many of the northern clubs. This lack of passion my be partly due to southerners be more reserved (correct me if you disagree), and put them in an arm chair and they will fall asleep. We need about 5,000 standing fans singing their hearts out and then we'll have the 13th man on the pitch! COYS
mountainyid
Chris - next time I make a joke, I'll flag it in advance for you. SRV, who mentioned class? Have you guys ever been to the Millennium in Cardiff for a Rugby game?
Love totty
Lt sorry my mistake I thought you were serious about sitting down during the games. I also found that irony doesn't come over very well in the written word does it. LOl
chrishove123
LJ, i can only talk from personal experience. I much prefer away games purely because the atmosphere in the away support is so much better and the fans stand throughout the matches, its much more like the old-days. You feel like your making a difference and you can really let yourself go. I never see any trouble? Think you need to go looking for it. But its a tiny tiny minority anyway. Tarring all people that 'stand' or 'want terracing back' as hooligans is media crap from people who don't understand football.
StillRickyVilla
mountainyid HA HA yeah you could be right, stick me in front of a nice open fire in a nice comfy armchair and watch me ZZZZZ. Especially with my favourite "poison" in my pipe LOL. Oh yes please put the price down to a tenner, then I could afford the journey AND the ticket. LOL I just wish it was like it used to be, you could just turn up and pay at the turnstiles. I once rode my motorbike all the way back from central Germany in the late 70s to see Spurs at the lane because I knew i could just pay at the door so to speak and get in to see the game. I wouldn't be able to do that now as I can't even get hold of tickets.
chrishove123
I once had four wet spam "supporters" try and beat me up on the train but I managed to get away, just, in the 70s when we beat them at The Lane. I was standing at the game as well so does that make me a hooligan?
chrishove123
Levy will still charge a bloody fortune. I don't mind if people want the choice. I do mind however, that Daniel Levy has short changed our manager. Can someone tell me where all the Champions League money went? Apparently we earned 36M from prize/TV money. Plus more from gate receipts and extra sponsors. Then made 30M in summer 2011 (http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/). So, where's all the bloddy money gone? Rant over.
Tactically Challenge
My parents live up north (Cambridgeshire) and when visiting them me and my Dad went to Peterborough v Derby (spurs were playing on Sunday). Great game and brilliant atmosphere, all standing behind the goal and when the borough came from two down to score the third and winner in the last minute we all went mental, it was like a real football match again, AND they don't even sell alcohol in that stand!

I can honestly never see it happening at WHL or Northumberland project, the game has moved on and many, probably the rich who make all the decisions and choose to sit down will say its changed for the better.

Big shout out to the shelf, they are leading by example this season, just need a few other to follow!!!
T.H.F.Chris
Standing of any sort is a non starter, the government has said as much. The German model of pricing isn't because of standing it is because they prevent foreign ownership of more than 49% of clubs. They therefore don't have petro $ owners who pay over the odds for players and wages which creates an unrealistic market which all others have to work in. They consequently have less imported players and develop their own there is less wage inflation so have lower costs. The only way ticket prices will fall in England is if fans start voting with their feet.
judge
Really interesting article and love your passion Wiltshirespur. Thanks also to TonyRich for putting up the link about rail seats. Unfortunately due to gepgraphical location, I simply am unable to get to WHL as often as I would like. (Myself and madabout struggle with 3.00am kick off as it is). However, even from a TV view it does appear that the atmosphere is down from previous seasons. Could not agree more with the Dortmund stand and intimidation factor, their ground is suberb, would love a combination style of Dortmund and Juve's as a blueprint for our new ground. Lordjohnny makes a compelling case against though, but I'll shoot off an email and sign a petition anytime for the introduction of a standing area. For the record, my last WHL visit was the 5-1 victory over Villa, with Big Marty J in charge. I'm contemplating a UK visit in a couple of months so hopefully another visit is on the cards. Took the missus to see Barca and Messi, but it was so timid. Who knows maybe a trip to Amsterdam in May might be a better option :)
thenuge
Thenuge - the atmosphere is down from previous seasons because the quality of performance is nowhere near what it was. Tempo and goal attempts create atmosphere which becomes a virtuous circle of feedback to the players.
Love totty
On the positive side, having read Tony's article, these rail seats do seem to be a worth considering perhaps even just for away supporter sections. Halve the price to encourage more travelling support. Nothing improves atmosphere more than fans competing with each other.
Love totty
If it can be done then it should...sitting is just not the same....
shedboy2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDXMbhMQR1U -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K-KNLfhsCs - Just looking at videos of Dortmund and their stadium is incredible. Just imagine if we had a stand like that at WHL or in the new stadium, it would become legendary in the football world. And also, notice how in the first video ( I think), there is only one stand (albeit a gigantic one) for standing and i think the rest of the stadium is seating. I would love for us to pioneer something like this at WHL. It is truly an intimidating atmosphere... Looks like an incredible battle scene from a modern day lord of the rings or something ;)
rahn DMC
rahn DMC then email spurs and tell them that!!! This subject is in the spotlight at the moment. I happen to know that Spurs ARE in contact with the football supporters federation so lets pile the pressure on! I appreciate some of you think it will never happen, and that maybe you lived through the golden age of football support and the terraces and are resigned to the fact that it may never come back but the fact is a generation of football fans are being squeezed out of live football by cost and by boredom - my generation!
wiltshirespur
Having experienced football in standing areas and sitting then comparing a pop concert. The atmosphere is always better in a standing area, without doubt. For me the key is the safety aspect, as long as this is adhered to then why not! Unfortunately there is a minority that spoil it for the rest of us. This is still the case in all-seater stadiums so no arguement there for me. The thug that threw the coin at Rio, was in a seated area! There still needs to be a project to kick out the hooligans as they are not wanted whether it be standing or sitting! IMO these hooligans are not fans of any football team, they are just thugs and use the team they support as an excuse.
yiddyboy
yiddyboy the guy who threw the coin wasn't a hooligan in the official sense, or at least wouldnt be involved with a firm, he was wearing a colourful hat I think and a city shirt. I think people have to understand the difference between a real hooligan and the kind of fan that maybe goes too far during a game. Hooligans are active firm members who organise fights away from grounds and risk long prison sentences and life bans from football to do so. This goes on more than you think. This is what the authorities are attempting to deal with, these violent, no other word for it, gangs. What you are referring to is what I would call 'idiots', who in the heat of the moment do something stupid like chuck a coin or run on the pitch and end up suffering the consequences. My point is, you can't legislate against idiocy, it is literally impossible, and having terraces isn't going to make any difference I agree.
wiltshirespur
I get you point wiltshirespur but then I also have some bad news for you. You, me and everyone else on here are "idiots", once quoted by Harry! :-) The thing is, I love watching Spurs but I would NEVER throw a coin or hurt someone if they lose. This to me is insane, if the only thing in someones life ifs a football club then maybe they need to have a good look at where they are and re-assess things. I'm a lover of banter, I also think when Ade ran the length of the field when playing for City and sliding in front of the Arsenal fans is Banter. All I have to say is 'IF YOU CAN'T TAKE IT, DON'T GIVE IT"
yiddyboy
If crowd trouble does start at least people can't rip up lengths of concrete terracing and throw it onto the pitch, unlike plastic seating. The one big avantage of seating that I would concede is that it makes it easier to use CCTV to identify trouble makers. I would whole heartedly agree with StillRickyVilla, the whole atmosphere and intensity in football grounds has been changed, and not for the better, by all seater stadia. Although I am not, and never was, a Liverpool supporter, no football fan could fail to be moved by the sight of 20,000 fans on the old Kop, with scarves held aloft singing their hearts out, or the cresendo of noise in all grounds to drive the home side forward, all this seems several notches lower in seated stadia, and together with the far higher prices needed to make up for the reduced crowd size, are factors driving away the traditional working class football fan. The game is becoming a middle class preserve, as a result of increased cost and reduced appeal.
Frank
Oh for the days when I witnessed 62,000+ fans in WHL for an FA Cup replay with Sunderland, the atmosphere was brilliant, we won 5-1 from memory, and it took me about 2 an a half hours to get home to Kilburn, happy days. What I woulddn't be calling for incidently is the return of the "trolley buses" that ran from Tottenham to Camden Town, no thanks.
Frank
see Frank thats what people like me will never have which is we have to desperately cling on to some form of the golden age of football support :(
wiltshirespur
 

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