By 90Min
April 19, 2018

The Premier League has come out in support of the government's decision to reject the introduction of safe standing areas in top flight stadiums. 

In an official statement, the Premier League argued that far more researched needed to be conducted into the implementation of safe standing and claim that only a small percentage of fans are in favour of the move. 

Earlier this month, West Bromwich Albion had a proposal rejected which would convert 3,600 seats in rail seating, a system already used in Scotland and Germany. The government received some backlash for the decision, with the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew Davies coming out in support of safe standing. 

"This subject is complex and nuanced and clearly requires more research," said the Premier League in a statement this week, as quoted by BBC Sport.

Over the past 16 months, football fans numbering in the low thousands have been asked about their views on safe standing in a poll conducted by Populus. While surveys conducted by individual clubs - such as Arsenal who found a massive 96 percent of fans supported the proposal - the Premier League remain unconvinced that this move would be popular among fans. 

"The results so far suggest a majority of fans like the idea of standing areas in principle but only 5% want to stand for an entire match. Additionally, the majority want the option of being able to stand and sit.

"Taking this into account, we understand and appreciate why the Minister for Sport would require far more evidence before considering a change to the current all-seater policy."

Discussions around safe standing are due to continue at the Sports Ground Safety Authority's annual conference at the Etihad Stadium. West Brom operations director Mark Miles is expected to push the case again for the club to be granted permission to introduce rail seating. 

According to the Daily Mail, a strong coalition of the FA, Premier League, and police would need to support safe standing to see the proposal pushed through. Legislation banning standing in stadiums was passed following the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. 

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