MP Barry Sheerman has refused to back Huddersfield Town's proposition of introducing a safe standing section to the John Smith's stadium, leading to a number of unhappy Terriers fans taking to social media to respond.
What Sheerman said
Taking to social media to give his opinion, Sheerman said: “I’m sorry, we fought to get safe, secure football stadiums where families could feel welcome. I will not support standing given the tragedies that we have seen!"
As expected, Huddersfield fans soon jumped on this, and accused the 77-year-old of being out of touch with the modern day game.
One first fan responded with: “It’s MORE dangerous to have people standing in seating areas which is what happens now.”
Before another Terriers supporter had his say: “The thing is safe standing is so we include everyone. I go to matches with my children where I would always choose family friendly all seated but it helps with the atmosphere without a doubt and I’d choose safe standing so it was controlled if I was on my own or with friends.”
Safe standing ideas had previously been backed
Fellow MPs Thelma Walker and Paula Sherriff had previously backed a campaign for the introduction of safe standing at the John Smith's stadium, with Walker stating: “As a child, I used to stand with my dad at matches, and I’ll never forget that sense of excitement and the atmosphere it generated." before going on further, to voice her opinion: "If the technology for safe standing exists, the authorities should seriously consider permitting its introduction in English stadia."
One final example of a fan who took to social media is someone who had challenged Sheerman to go to a game for himself, before then adding: “Time’s moved on Barry. You’re firmly stuck in the 80s.”
Why the want for safe standing?
Following the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, the Taylor Report found that all stadiums in the top two divisions of English football should be all-seater stadium, resulting in many people believing that atmospheres have been crushed and nowhere near as good as they used to be.
Nowadays, there is more technology available, meaning that the chance to improve the atmosphere of what is already one of the best in the country, the John Smith's stadium, is a possibility.
In Scotland, Celtic have already introduced a safe standing section to their stadium, and now a number of Premier League clubs are looking at doing the same.
The introduction of this to the West Yorkshire club would certainly be one that most match-goers welcome with open arms, with them believing even more of an electric atmosphere for the Terriers will be created, which could result in yet another positive for the club, pushing them even further in the right direction than what they have already come in this short period of time.