The safe standing debate continues to gather pace in the UK. Historically, all-seater stadium for the top 2 divisions became law following the Taylor Report (Hillsborough). While it has since been argued and accepted that standing was not the direct cause of the disaster, there is still a natural stigma to the idea that football could return to the bad old days. It is important to point out that safe standing does not mean a return to un-ticketed, ‘cram them in’ terraces. Safe standing areas currently employed are still ticketed and still require max allocations in each row, section, and stand. The best examples of safe standing exist in Germany. Most clubs employ such areas in their grounds and we’ve all seen Dortmund and the atmosphere they create. Many argue that the standing section helps to not only create a more vibrant atmosphere but also increases safety in areas that many people already stand in any way. In addition, the configuration of rail seating that Dortmund use means that they have an increased capacity of 81,360 for domestic games. This is reduced for European games, as UEFA do not allow standing. The seated configuration takes it to 65,289. Dortmund achieves this by essentially having 3 people to every two ‘seat spaces’ in the rail seating section. The matches are still all ticketed and ticket holders must still stand in specific spaces, to prevent overcrowding. In Scotland, Celtic have pioneered a similar form of rail seating. The only difference here to Germany, is that each seat space is allocated to only one ticketed person, as laws exist in UK regarding minimum space for allocation. So there is no increase in capacity by having rail seating at Celtic Park, but improved atmospheres, singing etc have been recorded. The Anfield Wrap took a trip up to Scotland to review the changes at Celtic Park, and this can be read here In England, Shrewsbury became the first club to state they would take advantage of new league rules that allow League 1 and 2 clubs to install a limited number of rail seats in their grounds for trial. Numerous premier league clubs have expressed an interest. Finally, in July, the Liverpool supporter group, Spirit of Shankly, carried out a week-long poll of Liverpool fans to gauge views on what is an emotive issue. Views were taken from Hillsborough families, Celtic reps, FSF and the Sports Ground Safety Authority. 88% of 18,000 Liverpool fans polled, gave resounding approval to rail seating being introduced to English stadia. Personally, I find the current configuration of seats very dangerous in sell-out games (which most matches I attend are). Also, away fans stand in every PL ground in the land, which only increases the risk of injury when people are falling over knee-high seats in front of them when goals or chances are created. What are other people’s views? Would you like to see rail seating introduced? Perhaps on the Stretford End, Kop etc. Perhaps in the away sections of PL grounds as well. Are some against the concept? Why? Should our clubs go further and push for a more German style concept in which 3 people occupy two traditional seat spaces, to increase capacity and produce a more intense atmosphere? Over to you.