Everton’s victory in the Carling Cup at West Ham in December was memorable for me for a variety of reasons, the way the player’s performed, the magnitude of the actual victory and the actions of the Everton faithful throughout. For the whole game, the Evertonian end stood, this was reflected through the electric atmosphere. This forced me to ponder my thoughts, should terracing be re-introduced?
Now I wasn’t even born when the Hillsborough disaster occurred and I would not like to disrespect those who suffered such a tragic death. However I hear my family, my father and uncles in the main talk of how they miss the terraces and the atmosphere that came with it. Experiencing that at West Ham only a while ago was a pleasure, I genuinely got a feel for the affection towards it.
Experiencing it has only strengthened my view; safe standing should be reintroduced for a number of reasons. It works in Europe, most notably Germany so why does the government appear to persist with the phobia that comes along with the idea? I recognise there have been horrific incidents; however I know enough to suggest this was merely down to poor safety rather than the actual terracing itself. Those who will argue; what if it happens again? The way health and safety is at the present it would be almost impossible for there to be a catastrophic re-occurrence.
People who go to music concerts are allowed to stand during that, so why should football fans not be allowed to stand at a football match?
There are stadiums in Europe (Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena for example) that can switch between seating and terracing, which is an interesting prospect and one I feel many would relish. There has been no sign of health risks or accidents in Germany, why can’t we mirror our system on theirs?
The re-introduction of terraced areas would go a long way to handing the game back to the proper supporters – offering affordable, atmospheric areas to modern-day stadia. It’s about time that the powers that be realised that this is what the fans want and brought safe standing areas into football grounds across the country, it will get the stadiums rocking, that’s for sure.
The Bundesliga may not consist of the best teams, but it certainly has the best atmospheres and you want to know why? A mixture of old and young folk packing the stadias with average crowds around 44,000, it’s affordable as well and appeals to varying generations.
Clubs and football associations have to realise that as fans we are customers, what happened to the customer’s always right? We deserve choices. Yes Hillsborough was a disaster and I’d pray we will never return to such unenlightened times but for the government and authorities to not even debate or consider it is ignorance beyond belief. We as fans want it as recent polls have testified.
Many label the Premier League as the ‘best in the world’. Don’t let football turn into a night at the opera, save the atmosphere, bring back terracing.
What do you think? Should football terraces be reinstated (with appropriate safety measures)?