This particular piece does not concern Manchester United specifically but rather the match-day experience supporters all across the country.
On Monday, a proposal from West Bromwich Albion to introduce a pilot scheme for safe standing – which would have seen 3,600 seats converted to ‘rail seats – was rejected by sports minister Tracey Crouch, who claimed that the measure was only wanted by a small and vocal minority.
The policy of all-seater stadiums in England was introduced by Margaret Thatcher after 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 – although it has been determined in court since that the tragedy had absolutely no link to standing supporters but rather poor policing.
Crouch has made it clear that the existing laws will be reinforced rather than reevaluated. The government’s position states that this is not an issue which resonates with the majority of those who go to football games in this country. Sign this petition – which, at the time of writing, has 25,000 signatures – to prove them wrong.
— The FSA (@WeAreTheFSA) April 12, 2018
Safe standing is employed by 182 clubs around the world, with Scottish champions Celtic introducing a highly popular section for standing last year. It is common among Bundesliga clubs, where the fan experience and atmosphere by extension is much better.
There is no link between Hillsborough and standing. Families of victims campaigned for literally decades to ratify that notion. It cannot be used as an argument against safe standing, which would provide cheaper tickets, increased capacity, and a small yet vital way to let fans feel less like mere consumers when watching the team they love.