Newcastle United challenged to make good previous safe standing promises – 12 day deadline
NUST have challenged Newcastle United on their previous statements on the introduction of safe standing.
This week we had final confirmation that safe standing areas can be introduced at Premier League grounds in the new year.
However, there is a 12 day deadline now running, because clubs that want to be part of the 2021/22 safe standing trials, must apply to be an ‘early adopter’ by Wednesday 6 October 2021 at the latest.
In a statement to members, NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) say they have already been in touch with the club to ask if the Mike Ashley administration is willing to put itself forward as an ‘early adopter’ to give NUFC fans the earliest possible opportunity to have the choice at last again, on whether to (legally) stand or sit at home matches.
NUST also say in their statement (see below) that they hope the club will be willing to meet with supporters as soon as possible to discuss the idea.
In the past the club have always insisted that they would consider installing safe seating once legislation came along that allowed it to happen.
So now we are at this point, with legislation allowing safe standing in the second half of this 2021/22 Premier League season, will the club now carry through their promise?
A failure to even discuss the possibility with Newcastle fans would surely simply confirm that the club (Mike Ashley!) have no intention of doing something that would benefit many supporters, purely because it would mean money spent and hassle in the short-term.
NUST Official Statement to members – 22 September 2021:
For many years, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust has backed campaigns led by the Football Supporters’ Association to introduce legalised standing in the top tiers of English Football.
For three decades the FSA have campaigned for this, and that resilience today paid off, with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) announcing clubs can apply to be an ‘early adopter’, meaning that if successful, clubs can from January 1st 2022 introduce a safe standing section in home and away ends. A huge win for supporters who have dedicated many years to campaigning for common sense.
Clubs must meet certain criteria:
The necessary infrastructure being in place – such as seats with barriers/independent barriers – which must be in both home and away sections.
Fans must be able to sit or stand in the licensed area – the seats cannot be locked in the ‘up’ or ‘down’ position. There must also be one seat/space per person.
The licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards or other fans, including disabled fans.
There must be a Code of Conduct in place for fans in the licensed standing area.
The ground must consult with its Safety Advisory Group about plans for the licensed standing areas.
NUST have backed this campaign for many years, and have lobbied the club on many occasions over the years to pursue options that would lead to the introduction of legalised standing at St James’ Park. The club themselves have undertaken their own research, through visits to Celtic Park to experience the rail seating installed there, but have always stipulated that they must wait for legislation before considering installing such a feature at Newcastle United. Finally, that legislation has arrived.
NUST have already contacted the club to find out if they are willing to apply to be an ‘early adopter’ before the October 6th deadline, and hope they will meet with supporters as soon as possible to discuss this idea with those it will impact.
Supporters deserve the choice to stand or sit, and today’s news goes some way to providing a system that benefits all match-going fans.
NUST have undertaken a lot of research on legalised standing, the positive impact it could have on the team and atmosphere as well as what cost it would come at to introduce and are hoping to work with the club soon on an approach that will see rail seating introduced for our supporters.
(To join thousands of other fans as members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust go HERE)
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