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Life President
Oct 27, 2003
Old Leigh
Aston Villa set to bring back terrace standing area at Villa Park

Aston Villa are exploring the possibility of introducing a safe-standing area at Villa Park.

Club officials have held preliminary talks about becoming Premier League pioneers by creating a new style of terracing at the ground.

Discussions are at a formative stage and would require backing from the league and the government before any progress could be made.

It would be at least the 2013-14 season, and most probably even later, before fans would be allowed to stand at Villa Park and the club would have to overcome a series of hurdles for their plan to become reality.

But chief executive Paul Faulkner and senior stadium staff have provisionally earmarked the corner of Villa Park, beneath the big screen scoreboard, where the Holte End meets the Trinity Road stand, for a standing ‘test area’.

If the bold plan gets the go-ahead it could lead to increased capacity and reduced admission prices in the standing section.

Villa have held discussions with the Football Supporters’ Federation and Faulkner floated the idea to the club’s fans for the first time at a meeting of their Supporters Consultation Group before Saturday’s draw with Everton at Villa Park.

The suggestion of giving fans the choice to stand received a unanimous thumbs-up from male and female supporters who were present at the forum.

Villa are examining the introduction of ‘rail seats’, which have been used effectively at German club Borussia Dortmund and other stadia across Europe.

These are flip-up seats which are UEFA compliant and can accommodate seated supporters during designated all-seater matches or be stowed away to create a standing area at other times.

At a time when attendances are being hit by the recession, Villa believe there is demand for standing tickets at Villa Park and intend to undertake further consultation with supporters.

The plan could be put forward at a Premier League meeting later this season. How it is received will provide an indication of if and at what rate Villa can progress.

It is believed other top-flight clubs would support a debate about safe-standing and would potentially be interested in introducing similar areas at their stadiums.

Villa bosses hope the intended project would boost the atmosphere at the stadium and tempt back some stay-away supporters.

By turning the ‘test area’ into a standing section, there would be increased capacity in that part of the ground, allowing the club to offer reduced-price tickets without losing money.

If the test area proved popular, there could be scope to introduce standing areas in other parts of Villa Park.

For Villa’s standing scheme to go ahead, it would require a change to the existing law, which was introduced in the early 1990s following Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough disaster.

The Scottish Premier League last month gave its clubs permission to have safe-standing areas within their stadiums.


Thoughts? Could it happen? I've got used to sitting at games but would like the option to stand.