Steve Evans Column: Don’t return to Dark Ages

A safe standing area at a football stadium in Hanover, Germany.
A safe standing area at a football stadium in Hanover, Germany.
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There is a campaign growing for a return of standing at all-seater stadiums and the Football League is to canvass clubs.

Now, Lord Justice Taylor took a long time to write his report after the Hillsborough disaster and, in my opinion, gave it real care and thought. He took football forward more than any other individual report by saying that you have to be sitting down.

If you go to any other entertainment, then they sit people down because you are there to watch and embrace it. You can stand up and clap at the theatre but then sit back down again.

From a safety point of view, it’s why all-seater was introduced at football. If we go back to standing then it would be a step back to the dark ages. And do you know when people would pay the price? When there are incidents like Hillsborough - and God forbid we won’t see anything like it ever again.

But by inviting standing, you may be inviting something like that to happen again whereas in all-seater stadiums, there is no fear over safety.

No, I’m totally against it. You have all standing and then you would run the risk of people running onto the pitch. Sitting down, you are not as reactive as when standing up. Then what next? Fences, cages?

Heaven forbid. No way.

Those who advocate standing may be forgetting the hurt over the loss of life; may be forgetting the huge investment by clubs into all-seater stadium.

Three of our local clubs, Doncaster Rovers, Chesterfield and my club Rotherham United all have new, all-seater grounds with all the time and money that went into them. Look at the massive redevelopment at Barnsley, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday to make them all-seater.

What do we do now? Take out the seats. No, I’m not in favour. Let’s look forward, not go backwards

*Now we are in 2014 - and may I wish a Happy and prosperous New Year to everyone - there has to be a better method of coming to a correct decision than we saw at the New York Stadium on Wednesday.

An offence committed not on the edge of the penalty area but on the edge of the ‘D’, is given as a penalty by an assistant referee. It proved a game changing decision. But it was so clearly wrong and one of the worst of its kind I have ever seen.

Someone needs to look at that decision and ask - I do - why we can’t do something in 2014 about decisions like that to ensure we get them right?