Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - West Brom disappointed at rejection of safe standing proposal




West Brom disappointed at rejection of safe standing proposal

West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazy reacts after their English Premier League match with Swansea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich on Saturday. AFP
West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazy reacts after their English Premier League match with Swansea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich on Saturday. AFP

West Brom disappointed at rejection of safe standing proposal

The British government’s decision to reject Premier League strugglers West Browmwich Albion’s proposal to have a safe standing area is “surprising” and “disappointing” said a club director.

West Brom staff had visited both Scottish champions Celtic and German outfit Hoffenheim who both have safe standing areas – ‘rail seats’, which can be locked in an upright position with safety barriers separating each row.

West Brom’s plan had been to install 3,600 rail seats in one end of the Hawthorns ground.

However, British Sports minister Tracey Crouch says there are no plans to change the all-seater policy at football stadiums which was brought in as a result of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

West Brom’s director of operations Mark Miles, who has led the proposal, described the decision as “surprising” and “disappointing”.

“I think the minister has taken a short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters,” he said.

“The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now.”

Miles said the safe standing deployed by Celtic and Hoffenheim had worked well.

“The system we proposed is well tested across Europe and has also worked successfully at Celtic, who are governed by different legislation than in England and Wales,” he said.

“We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety.

“But I have become convinced that rail seating would enhance safety. The club is extremely disappointed with this decision and we have written back requesting a review.”

The thorny issue of standing areas appeared to get a boost last year when Liverpool fans overwhelmingly supported it.

In a week-long poll run by the club’s biggest independent supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly, 88 per cent of the nearly 18,000 fans who took part voted in favour of rail seating.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.