An EFL survey has revealed that the majority of fans are in favour of having the option to return to standing at football grounds.
Over 33,000 responded to the survey, part of the recently launched ‘Stand up for Choice’ campaign, which is being run in conjunction with the Football Supporters’ Federation, with 94% of Championship fans and 92% of League One and League Two supporters all in favour of the choice to stand.
Over two-thirds (69%) indicated that they would prefer to stand, compared to less than a quarter (22%) who stated that they would prefer to sit.
The survey also reports that 47% of all fans said they would attend more games if licensed standing was available.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said the survey provides a clear indicator as to the opinions of supporters over the issue.
“We stated at the outset that we wanted this survey to provide Government with a clear indication of the strength of feeling amongst those supporters who attend matches every season. The response could not be clearer," he said.
“Football supporters clearly want the option to stand at football matches and we see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed the choice to have the matchday experience they want.
“With nearly half of all fans claiming they would attend more games if licensed standing was available, this campaign demonstrates how standing could play a significant role in boosting attendances, particularly with the under 35s demographic, a group of supporters that have a significant number of other options to consider when determining whether they will or will not attend a match. With stadium occupancy at 61% in 2017/18, a change in legislation would provide an opportunity to increase revenue from gate receipts.”
Peter Daykin, standing co-ordinator at the Football Supporters' Federation, said: “We’d like to thank every supporter who took the time to take part in the ‘Stand up for Choice’ survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted on the issue of standing at football in England and Wales.
“Once again, football supporters have made it abundantly clear that they want the choice between sitting and standing at a match - genuine choice that is provided at horse racing, rugby, music festivals and beyond. We urge the Government to listen to those supporters who, along with clubs and safety experts, want to see reform of the currently unworkable all-seater legislation.”