What do football fans like best these days? Three points? A good seat at the game? A nice pie? Maybe it’s a great atmosphere game in, game out, regardless of the result.
To be honest with you, atmosphere has been top of the list for me for a number of seasons now since that wonderful night when goals from Laursen and Barry earned Villa a victory over Ajax. That night brings so many good memories, especially as it was when the tradition of fans in the Lower North standing at all the home games began.
I know Villa Park and all other stadia in the top two flights of English football are all seater but that night back in October 2008 proved to me that standing at a game adds an atmosphere. The main reason why I am so happy for free standing to return to our terraces is the fact that fans do it anyway and there have been no injuries, no arrests and everyone can watch the game.
When Mat Kendrick brought us the news that Faulkner was looking at bringing standing back to Villa Park, many people brought up the Hillsborough issue once again. Nevertheless, since then the club’s officials have pushed on with theirs attempts to bring and promote safe standing to the Stadia.
The Safe Standing Roadshow came to Villa Park on Sunday to promote the introduction of safe standing areas with German-style rail seats. It seems it not only went down well with fans but that members of the police force also took an interest in how the system works.
Offering more affordable match tickets and cheaper season tickets would certainly bring back more fans to Villa Park.
I’ll admit that even I had my doubts but, when you watch the video that shows how it works at Hannover, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Personally, I would gladly welcome safe standing in sections R1 and R2 of the Lower North on a trial basis.
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Would you welcome safe standing at Villa Park? Would it bring those who cannot afford tickets back?
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