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Rail seating – Level Playing Field response

Level Playing Field's response to today's (22 September) announcement regarding rail seating/safe standing at Premier League and Championship clubs

“The licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards or other fans, including disabled fans.” –  Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA)

Today, the SGSA announced that it is inviting clubs from the Premier League and Championship to put forward an ‘expression of interest’ to install rail seating at their ground by Wednesday 6 October.

With this in mind, Level Playing Field wishes to reiterate that disabled fans should be given the opportunity to raise questions or concerns with their club regarding the use of rail seating.  Disabled fans should also be given the option to choose if they wish to be accommodated in rail seated areas.

For the first time in more than 25 years, fans will have the opportunity to watch a game standing up.  During this same period, some disabled fans have had to endure obstructed views as a result of other spectators standing up in from of them, often at key moments in a match/event.

For some supporters, the news that they may be able to stand at a game from 1 January 2022 will be a welcome and exciting change, but we know that some disabled fans will inevitably have questions and genuine concerns.

We are therefore encouraging clubs to open up discussions with their Disabled Supporters Associations and individual disabled fans in order to have a full dialogue in advance of any application for rail seating is submitted.