‘Stand up if you love the Town’: is it time safe standing was introduced at Sixfields?

A solitary fan stands up at Sixfields during Cobblers' clash with manchester United last month. But should standing be a regular feature?
A solitary fan stands up at Sixfields during Cobblers' clash with manchester United last month. But should standing be a regular feature?

Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust is set to consult Cobblers fans on whether they would like to see safe standing introduced at Sixfields.

The trust and the Standing at Sixfields campaign group are due to set up an online survey in the coming weeks to gather the views of fans as to whether they would like to be given the choice of standing while they watch the League One side in action.

Supporters have not been able to legally stand watching the Cobblers at home since they made the move to the all-seater Sixfields in 1994 from the County Ground.

But following a meeting between the trust, fans, club staff and chairman Kelvin Thomas last week, the trust has agreed to carry out an online survey and canvass supporters.

Trust board member James Averill said: “After a meeting midweek where chairman Kelvin Thomas said he would like to hear feedback on this issue, the Trust has decided to canvass fans to see whether there is an appetite to see safe standing introduced at Sixfields.

“This is by no means saying that this will definitely happen, it’s purely to see whether there is a desire for the club to explore the option.

“Although there seems to be a lot of support for the idea nationwide, we also want to hear from people who don’t want to see it implemented. We want to get as many views from fans as possible and feed this back to the football club.”

The Trust will be working during the consultation with members of the Standing at Sixfields group who have been campaigning about the issue on social media.

Safe standing is entirely different to the terracing seen at most football stadiums, including the County Ground, in the 1980s.

It sees each row have a safety barrier and rail seat that can be locked into an upright position, allowing supporters to stand between the barriers. The seats can also be locked down and sat on if required.

Scottish champions Celtic introduced a safe standing section accommodating 3,000 supporters this summer - and now other clubs are looking at similar schemes.

Dutch side Ajax, are currently in the process of constructing such an area which will still feature collapsible seating.

The old-style standing terraces were banned from the top two tiers of English football in the early 1990s, in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.

For more information head to the Standing at Sixfields group’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/StandSixfields

You can also follow the group on Twitter via @StandSixfields