The Hillsborough disaster in 1989 brought about changes in English football that banned terraces in the top two leagues but while safety is paramount for spectators the SPL board have taken a balanced view to safeguard the matchday experience.
Last Monday the SPL board changed the League’s rules to grant the ability to approve requests from clubs to pilot safe standing areas for use in SPL matches. Both Celtic and Motherwell are reported to be keen to investigate the concept.
The old SPL rules stated that teams must only use seated areas with a minimum of 6,000 seats per stadium. With all changes at Football grounds the standing areas have to be approved by local council authorities and police to gain a safety certificate.
SPL boss Neil Doncaster commented:
“Since I joined the SPL in 2009, there has been widespread support amongst fans to reintroduce safe standing areas,”
“I am delighted that we have been able to respond positively to supporters' views on improving the match day experience.”
Gate receipts are the lifeblood of clubs and English Clubs also see standing terraces as a way to reduce ticket prices and improve stadium atmosphere.
The Premier League is opposed to the change as Dan Johnson explains in an article in the Mirror
“The bottom line is that it (standing at matches) is illegal under the legislation that was brought in after Hillsborough,”
“We can't have standing in the Premier League and the Championship and it's not a situation we would like to see change.”