Spirit of Shankly welcome the government announcement today, 5 June, that they plan to review the law concerning safe standing at top-flight football matches.
SOS acknowledge that Liverpool FC and their support hold a unique position. We as Liverpool fans, more than many, know and understand the emotion and sensitivities surrounding this issue. We expect it to be factored in to any review and is the reason we felt it prudent to begin the process of discussion.
In July last year we held a meeting where we spoke with, and received comments from, many families and survivors of Hillsborough. It was followed with a public debate and finally a survey to find out how our members and the club’s supporters feel.
The results of that survey, 28 years on from the Hillsborough disaster, were overwhelmingly in favour of the introduction of safe standing / rail seating. This is in line with similar surveys of supporters at other clubs. Since then we have organised a visit to a match at Celtic Park to experience rail seating in action.
The views of Liverpool fans and those directly affected by Hillsborough should be heard loud and clear, not just referenced by politicians and decision makers. It is important that supporters of all clubs, and opinions, have a voice. Any decision taken must be backed by evidence.
Regarding our next steps and any consultation with politicians, SOS have been in regular contact with Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport, and have held several welcome and productive conversations. As yet, we have had no contact from Tracey Crouch MP’s office or anyone in government about their plans or position.
Rosena and her Labour colleagues have listened to what we and others have had to say. Such engagement is important and positive, and something we hope is included in any future analysis and review.