The Instigator
TheDimpleboy
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Sauh
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Safestanding should be introduced at Premier League Grounds

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheDimpleboy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/9/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 599 times Debate No: 34629
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

TheDimpleboy

Pro

I'm arguing for the introduction of SafeStanding in Premier League grounds (if the individual club wishes to, depending on if they can afford to).

Rules:

1. First round is acceptance.
2. For my second round debate, I will simply copy my round 2 argument from my previous debate on this topic, which my opponent failed to reply to.

Good luck.
Sauh

Con

Acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
TheDimpleboy

Pro

I'm arguing for the introduction of SafeStanding in Premier League grounds (if the individual club wishes to, depending on if they can afford to).

Currently a proportion of fans stand throughout the match at all clubs in the league in home ends, and there tends to be an 'unofficial' standing area at these clubs for home fans. Examples of this are at Newcastle (Level 7), Man United (Stretford End and K Stand), Sunderland (South Stand and SWC) etc. I could go on to name a section of the ground at every single top flight club where fans choose to stand throughout the game. It is currently against ground regulations to do so (although not against the law, the law simply states the club have to provide those seats), however fans continue to do so, and will continue to do so regardless of the authorities stance. Some clubs choose to take a hard line approach to standing (e.g. Sunderland have temporarily banned some fans for standing in the South Stand during the last season as a warning to others); some clubs quietly tolerate it such as Man United (The entire Stretford End Level 2 stands for every game with no opposition from stewards); and some clubs openly tolerate it (Manchester City actually have a designated standing section which contains around 5000 fans across it). As well as in home sections, the away fans of a number of clubs ALL stand throughout the game every week, including Newcastle, Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham and Liverpool to name but a few.

So put simply - regardless of whether it is allowed or not, fans will continue to stand, and this will not change.

1.) I believe Safe Standing sections should be introduced because quite simply, fans deserve a choice over whether to sit or to stand. Currently some fans who don't want to stand are forced to because the people in front of them are - so the introduction of Safe Standing areas would ensure that those who want to stand can do so without effecting the enjoyment of the game of others.

2.) Standing is not dangerous. Standing did not cause Hillsborough. The Lord Justice Taylor report into the aftermath of Hillsborough found that 'Standing is not inherently dangerous'. A study by the FSF found that the most dangerous period of time to stand during the game was when a goal is scored, and the least dangerous is throughout the match when fans are standing passively. In fact, Safestanding areas would IMRPOVE safety, as currently fans could topple over into the rows in front when celebrating a goal, and safestanding has a railing separating EACH row, which prevents a crush from ever possibly occurring.

The important things to remember are:

1.) Standing at matches will not go away, and to bring in Safestanding would only improve the safety of those who choose to do so.

2.) SafeStanding areas would only be implemented in one section of the ground, and the majority of the ground would still remain seated, so that those who want to sit can sit, and those who wish to stand can stand.

3.) Safestanding areas would prevent fans from being hassled and persecuted for simply choosing to stand up.

I fail to see how Safestanding could rationally be opposed, and I personally have stood persistently throughout matches on a number of occasions following Newcastle away from home. (Our away support hasn't sat down at a competitive fixture for the last ten years).

Thankyou for accepting the debate, and I look forward to reading your response.
Sauh

Con

Thank you for posting this debate.

I am not sure if you are arguing that the regulation against standing should be gotten rid-of; or that the regulation should be amended to allow safe standing sections where the regulation wouldn’t be enforced. I will argue to both points.

From an individual fan's perspective it might not make sense to have an official policy against standing.

However, from the perspective of the people responsible for what happens in the stadium it is adventitious to have this as an official policy. This regulation being good for stadiums, is in turn good for the fans.

I believe Safe Standing sections should be introduced because quite simply, fans deserve a choice over whether to sit or to stand. Currently some fans who don't want to stand are forced to because the people in front of them are - so the introduction of Safe Standing areas would ensure that those who want to stand can do so without effecting the enjoyment of the game of others.

So put simply - regardless of whether it is allowed or not, fans will continue to stand, and this will not change

As you clearly pointed out, fans will stand regardless of policy. If you changed the regulations to allow safe standing sections, this would not necessarily keep people from standing in the seated areas. If people wanted to stand, but the safe standing areas were full, they would just stand in the seated areas.
Also whether a person wants to sit or stand is a fluid decision; which can change based on excitement level, or alcohol level. If people who choose to go to the seated section decide to stand-up, they will stand; thus forcing those sitting behind them to be to stand.
So you can see; introducing safe standing sections wouldn’t, in practice, preclude this problem.

Standing is not dangerous. Standing did not cause Hillsborough. The Lord Justice Taylor report into the aftermath of Hillsborough found that 'Standing is not inherently dangerous'.

I agree that standing didn’t cause Hillsborough. While I can’t say if that terrible situation was caused by the police, poor fan routing, or the gate being opened; it can’t be denied that the fans were at least partly at fault.

Please note, I’m not saying that the individual fans were the problem; I am saying that the mob was the problem.

When that many people get together there is a new entity formed, a ‘mob’; and a mob ‘thinks’ and acts differently than the individual people in it. Each person could have made a completely rational decision given the information they had, but the crush still occur.

Consider the different decisions that people made which led to the problem.

Everyone getting to the pen before it reached capacity: No problem yet.
Everyone outside trying to get in: Just excited to see the match, when the gate is opened, they try to get in and get as close as they can.
The first people from the crowd who got in through the gate to the now over-crowded pen saw it was too full and probably made one of two decisions:
‘Eh, I’m one person and one more person couldn’t make that much of a difference’; or ‘That’s too full, I’ll try somewhere else’.
But the people behind them don’t yet know the pen is too full; so the people wanting to try somewhere else are pushed in anyway. Repeat until disaster.

All that to say; the problem wasn’t standing, it was poor crowd management. Although the stadium had a system in place to control the flow of people, it was poorly implemented.

Nobody foresaw the Hillsborough incident happening; so they had physical structures to keep people safe from regular crushes. Putting in rail seats, which is what I understand you to want, would only be installing physical structures for safety. At Hillsborough the physical structures designed for safety, the separate pens, didn’t work because the regulations on how they were to be used, the capacity limits, weren’t enforced.

Physical safety structures are only as good as the policy enforcement to use them effectively.
Having more regulations allows more control; thus, more safety.

Also consider that, in general, having more and more physical structures to keep people safe, might turn out to be counter-productive.

If people see people who are acting foolish get hurt, there is the lesson; “Acting foolish is dangerous. I should develop the ability to judge if my actions are foolish; thus dangerous”.

If people see people who are acting foolish kept safe through some physical structure, there is the lesson; “There are no consequences to being foolish”.

People will continue to act more and more foolishly until they find a way to get hurt in the presence of the same physical structure that kept the original fools safe.

Physical structures don’t keep people safe; good judgment keeps people safe.

Safe standing areas would prevent fans from being hassled and persecuted for simply choosing to stand up.

Having all-seating as an ‘official’ regulation, allows the management of the stadium to ‘persecute’, as you say, people for standing. Notice I didn't’t say, ‘for simply standing’.

The reason that this distinction is important is because people can be obnoxious jerks, ruining the match for those around them, without actually breaking any rules. I’m sure you’vie seen people like this at games.

Maintaining the regulation against standing allows the management to officially punish a person for standing; while actually punishing them for being a jerk and ruining the enjoyment of everyone around them.

I know that when it’s you and your friends being ‘hassled’ it’s for no reason.
Consider that when they shut-up that loudmouth you don’t know, they are protecting your ability to enjoy the game.

It is a matter of point-of-view. The management’s point-of-view is to try and make the game as enjoyable as possible.
If more people have a good time, more people are likely to buy tickets to another game there. The more people who buy tickets, the more money the stadium makes; the more money they can use to make the stadium better for the fans.

Having this regulation in place allows, say, Newcastle to selectively enforce it, mostly allowing the fans to stand, but also being able to remove, or ban, an abusive fan.
Of course I’m not talking about Newcastle fans they’re great; I’m referring to Spur supporters.



Those are my thoughts on your points; here are my reasons to not introduce safe standing sections.

If you are advocating removing the regulation forbidding standing:

The management of the stadium does’t want this because it allows them to punish jerks, which are not technically breaking any other rules, but are ruining other fans enjoyment; which is good for most fans.

If you are simply advocating stadiums put in safe standing sections while leaving the regulation against standing in place:

This will not preclude people from standing in the seating section any more than it does with the unofficial standing sections you mentioned; making it unnecessary.

This will not necessarily make things safer. Physical structures don’t make people safe, good judgment makes people safe. People doing foolish things will find a way to be unsafe no matter how many rails are around. The more safety structures you put in place, the less people use good judgment.

Since putting safe standing sections won't significantly change anything:
The question of whether or not to put in safe standing sections comes to; should clubs spend the time and money to remodel the stadiums?

No. The construction would affect the fans by being a hassle. The construction cost money, money that could be spent by the stadium for other things to better the experience of the spectator watching the match.

Thank you for considering this question from a different perspective. I look forward to your response in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheDimpleboy

Pro

Thank you for your reasoned response.

You seem to be confused with what I am 'arguing for'. I am, as I previously stated, arguing for the introduction of Safestanding areas in Premier League grounds (should the inidividual clubs take advantage of this and choose to introduce it is up to them). In order for this to happen, there must be a change in the law which states all stadiums in the Premier League must be all-seater stadiums, as the SafeStanding model is technically viewed as terracing (although it is vastly different to the true sense of the word).

I will now address your points.

"If people wanted to stand, but the safe standing areas were full, they would just stand in the seated areas... If people who choose to go to the seated section decide to stand-up, they will stand"


1.) First of all you state that fans will stand in the seated areas if the safestanding areas were full. This is quite simply, wrong.

The problem with this is that typically the SafeStanding section of the stadium would count for around 15-20% of the total capacity. The number of people that would wish to stand throughout the game themselves is still very much a minority, and if these sections were filled, then the number of fans wishing to stand who missed out on tickets for this section would be very small.

In order for a section of the ground to stand up, there has to be an overwhelming majority of fans in that section who wish to stand - and as the overwhelming majority of fans will be in the SafeStanding section, then standing in the seated areas would not take place.


You seem to believe that if a few people decide to stand up at the front of the stand, then an entire domino effect will follow. This is also untrue. If a few fans attempt to stand throughout the game in a passive area, then they will either be thrown out by the stewards, or forced to sit down.


Standing in seated areas only occurs when there is a overwhelming majority, as the authorities cannot combat this majority.

If SafeStanding was introduced then there would no longer be a majority of 'standers' in any section, as they will be in the Safestanding section.


2.) I am unsure why you are bringing up temporary standing, due to moments of excitement. These currently occur in all seated areas anyway, however the fans sit back down when the excitement has passed. SafeStanding would not have any effect on this whatsoever.

Putting in rail seats, which is what I understand you to want, would only be installing physical structures for safety. At Hillsborough the physical structures designed for safety, the separate pens, didn’t work because the regulations on how they were to be used, the capacity limits, weren’t enforced.

3.) My retort to this is quite simple, modern stadiums cannot be over capacity due to electronic turnstiles, with a fixed capacity.

A crush cannot occur as there are no barriers to prevent fans from spilling on the pitch, combined with the fact rows cannot 'topple like dominos' onto each other due to barriers being between rows.

People will continue to act more and more foolishly until they find a way to get hurt in the presence of the same physical structure that kept the original fools safe.

4.) Could you define how A.) People could act in a foolish manner which could hurt a number of people B.) How this could occur in a SafeStanding section. As the only serious risk associated with standing at football matches is getting 'crushed', and this could not occur in a Safestanding section.

Could you also distinguish between why people will suddenly act 'foolish' in SafeStanding sections when they don't (as a whole) act foolishly when standing in seated areas.


SafeStanding will reduce the overall risk of injury when persistently standing, rather than encourage foolish behaviour.


Maintaining the regulation against standing allows the management to officially punish a person for standing; while actually punishing them for being a jerk and ruining the enjoyment of everyone around them

This is entirely incorrect. In my numerous experiences with standing, the authorities have only ever done one of two things.


The first thing is to not attempt to get the crowd seated, as there is no chance of making '4000 fans' sit down against there will.


The second - just as common - response I've seen, is for the authorities to pick a supporter who is young and small, and without any friends to 'back them up', and eject them from the stadium. It is the fans who cause the least trouble who are often punished and used as a 'scapegoat', as the authorities know these people will offer little resistance, so attempt to make an example of them.


Even if you choose to ignore my first hand experiences, what you are saying is once again incorrect - the authorities don't need the standing rule in order to punish people for being 'a jerk' (e.g. being repeatedly, unneccessarily abuse and upsetting numerous people around them). They can use the follwing ground regulation to deal with the offender.

21.1.6 persistent swearing and/or abusive language during the Match;


This is against the conditions of entry at every football ground of all Premier League clubs, and while most people do swear, it allows the authorities to deal appropriately with those who take it 'too far', and spoil the enjoyment of others.


So in summary:

The management of the stadium does’t want this because it allows them to punish jerks, which are not technically breaking any other rules, but are ruining other fans enjoyment; which is good for most fans.

This is untrue, they can deal with the offender using a number of other ground regulations and/or public disorder offences.

This will not preclude people from standing in the seating section any more than it does with the unofficial standing sections you mentioned; making it unnecessary.

This is untrue, as the fans who stand in the 'unofficial standing sections' would move to the SafeStanding section, where they would be free from being hassled, and blocking others views.

This will not necessarily make things safer. Physical structures don’t make people safe, good judgment makes people safe. People doing foolish things will find a way to be unsafe no matter how many rails are around. The more safety structures you put in place, the less people use good judgment.

While I understand your point, it is once again defunct as the physical structure question would improve safety, as it reduces the risk of fans falling from the rows behind, potentially causing a domino crush. You seem to assume fans will automatically 'do foolish things', which is unfounded.


No. The construction would affect the fans by being a hassle. The construction cost money, money that could be spent by the stadium for other things to better the experience of the spectator watching the match.

I totally understand this viewpoint, however I stated at the beginning of the debate that I am arguing for the introduction of SafeStanding areas depending on whether the individual clubs wish to do so, so this is not a topic I am interested in discussing.


Thank you for offering a unique perspective against SafeStanding, I look forward to seeing your response.


Sauh

Con

Could you also distinguish between why people will suddenly act 'foolish' in SafeStanding sections when they don't (as a whole) act foolishly when standing in seated areas.

I didn't say people would "suddenly act foolish in Safe standing sections". I was making a general point that people shouldn't rely on physical structures to keep them safe. The increased foolishness (read: stupidity) would happen slowly.
This is essentially a point that messing with natural selection is bad.

Okay, that's all I got.
When initially I accepted your debate, I thought you were referring to:
http://safestand.co.uk...

If you are trying to rewrite The Football Spectators Act (1989):
Changing legislation is a hassle.
It is much easier to get over-protective laws passed after a disaster; than it is to get them re-evaluated based on logical arguments. Emotion (read: lots of people all excited) more than logic (read: a few people with calm arguments) moves the government.

Is there a reason England shouldn't adopt the practices of Germany and others allowing stadiums to convert some sections between standing and seating depending on the game?

I don't know. I'm not English, never been to a soccer (I said soccer) game.
My second round was what I could come up with when I realized you weren't referring to the website I mentioned. Put a space between 'safe' and 'standing'.
Just thought I'd give you some kind of argument.
I am going to forfeit the last two rounds unless you want to debate something else. (I don't think this argument needed five rounds.)

Thanks for the debate and giving me something to do a little research on.

Now just because I think I'm funny.

GO SPURS!!!!!
Debate Round No. 3
TheDimpleboy

Pro

Thank you for your response.


I was referring to the introduction of http://www.safestandingroadshow.co.uk... which would require a change in current legislation.

I agree that changing the legislation will be a lot of hassle, mainly due to the emotion following the disaster, and that is why I began the debate - in order to see if there were any rational reasons rather that just blurred emotion for why it shouldn't be introduced.


Ultimately while you did put forward better points against it than a number of senior politicians and journalists, I believe that I rationally countered each point, and that other than the cost, there quite simply are no cons, therefore I advise voters to vote Pro.

Thankyou for your time, and hopefully this is introduced sooner rather than later!


Vote Pro!

Sauh

Con

While I can't ask people to vote Con; will ask them to abstain from the vote on the grounds that (mumble mumble mumble).
Told you I thought I was funny.
Good show mate, I now know more about something (nothing but love) that I don't care about. This practice makes people think which is good.
Debate Round No. 4
TheDimpleboy

Pro

Fairplay mate /Debate
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
TheDimpleboySauhTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
TheDimpleboySauhTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: concession.