TALKING POINT: Should fans have a safe standing area at a redeveloped Ashton Gate?
Opinion among fans may be divided on plans to redevelop Ashton Gate – some would still prefer to move to Ashton Vale – but there seems to be one aspect of the whole affair upon which they broadly agree.
And that is the issue of safe standing in the Wedlock Stand.
It seems a majority of those who watch City in the East End stronghold are in favour of introducing a standing area on a trial basis.
There is currently no terracing at any of the 44 Premier League and Championship club stadiums and the Safe Standing Campaign was launched to lobby the Government to instigate a change in legislation.
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Safe standing areas are already permitted in top-flight football in Sweden, Germany and Austria and Bristol City are one of 20 English clubs in favour of introducing the experiment here.
Not surprisingly, safe standing has become a hot topic of debate among Bristol City and Bristol Rugby fans since the announcement this week that they could end up ground-sharing at a revamped Ashton Gate in the near future.
City officials are taking supporters’ views seriously and members of the club’s senior management will meet with fans’ representatives at Ashton Gate to discuss a variety of issues.
Safe standing is sure to feature high on the agenda at the Fans Parliament, one of four to be held annually in a quest to establish closer links between those who pay at the turnstiles and those responsible for the running of the football club.
Bristol Sport chairman Martin Griffiths, Academy director Amy Kington, commercial director Kevin Smith and media manager Adam Baker will be among those representing the club, while the views of the fans will be put by representatives of the Supporters Club, the Supporters Trust, the City Foundation, the Premier Club and elected spokesmen for the Atyeo, Dolman, Wedlock and Williams Stands.
Lifelong City fan Jon Darch is a passionate supporter of the Safe Standing Campaign and he and others will lead calls for the scheme to be introduced at a revamped Ashton Gate.
The Post wants to know what those who follow Bristol City and Bristol Rugby think about safe standing. Should provision be made for a safe standing area at a redeveloped Ashton Gate and, if so, where should it be situated?