DCSIMG

I would welcome the trial of safe standing back at Carrow Road

Three years before I went to my first professional football match, The Taylor Report was published recommending, among other things, that all major grounds in Britain bring an end to standing in terraces.

By the time I was watching Norwich City regularly, most clubs in the top two divisions had converted to all-seater stadiums.

It took the tragic deaths of 96 Liverpool fans for things to change when it came to supporters’ safety at games.

Although the South Yorkshire police were ultimately to blame, old style, crowded terraces were eradicated.

As is human nature, when you can’t have something, you want it even more and despite the improvements in safety, some have been lobbying for the return of terraced stands in recent years.

I have stood at many football matches, but the idea of terracing has never appealed – until a visit to The Stadio Olimpico in Rome last Thursday.

My brother and I went to watch Lazio in the Europa League and it was memorable, but for reasons that would be frowned upon here.

Seating was unallocated, you could drink beer and smoke in full view of the pitch and stand uninterrupted.

The stadium wasn’t even a quarter full but the firecrackers, smoke bombs and massive flags made for an electric atmosphere that I have never experienced in England.

Of course, rules and regulations mean this would never happen in this country, but it did open my eyes to more relaxed attitudes in football stadia and The Football Supporters Federation’s campaign for a trial of safe standing gets my backing.

Over 180 minutes of football against Manchester United last season we played very well, but came away with nothing.

Top-of-the-league United visit Carrow Road tomorrow for another evening game where the home crowd will need to be in full voice and back the team like they did against Arsenal.

 

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