Luton ask supporters if they want to see safe standing at Power Court

Clubs given permission to apply to the SGSA

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:26 pm
An artists impression of how Power Court could look - pic: Leslie Jones Architecture

Luton Town have asked their supporters whether they want to see safe standing areas available when they eventually move into their new home at Power Court.

The Hatters, who were awarded planning permission by Luton Borough Council in January 2019, confirmed in December that they were hoping to play their first game at the 17,500 stadium in 2024.

On Monday evening, the club sent out a short questionnaire to fans, to see what level of interest there was on safe standing areas, as they aim to 'create memorable matchday experiences at our new home.'

The request came prior to today's announcement that Premier League and Championship clubs can declare their interest in piloting safe standing areas this term.

Clubs have until October 6 to submit an application to the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) with plans to move forward on January 1

Since 1994, all first and second-tier grounds in England and Wales have been required to be all-seaters by law, as standing became outlawed following recommendations made in the Taylor Report after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

In 2018, new guidance from the SGSA allowed the use of rail seats and if initial trials prove successful, all stadiums in England's top two divisions could have the safe standing within the next few years.

UK sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We have been clear that we will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing at football grounds providing there was evidence that installing seating with barriers would have a positive impact on crowd safety.

“With independent research now complete, and capacity crowds back at grounds across the country, now is the right time to make progress."

Pete Daykin, the co-ordinator of the FSA's safe standing campaign said: "It brings to an end a farcical situation in which fans at every ground continue to stand in their thousands - often to the detriment of those who can't or don't want to stand behind them - but that clubs can't officially recognise or tackle in a constructive, proactive way."