It’s no secret, the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium is below average – and that’s putting it generously. But what can be done to help?[quote_right]”There’s no bigger atmosphere killer than a comfortably padded Emirates Stadium seat…”[/quote_right]
Arsenal fans who regularly attend matches will understand the issue well.Arsenal’s curent “Singing Section” is on the opposite side of the Stadium to the Away Fans section, making it difficult for a competitive atmosphere to develop. What’s more is, fans are confined to their seats, encouraged never to stand. There’s no bigger atmosphere killer than a comfortably padded Emirates Stadium seat.
Safe Standing is probably our very best bet then. The idea is that certain seated sections of the stadium are replaced by standing areas. Large, high barricades which can also act as makeshift seats separate rows of fans, ensuring that nobody can “push forward” and create Hillsborough-type tragedy.
[title]Good Work Already Underway[/title]
For those f you unfamiliar with Safe Standing, my description probably didn’t do it justice. Here is a short video showcasing Hannover 96’s Safe Standing zone, put together by The Football Supporters Federation.
As you can see, this isn’t a new point I’m raising, as organizations such as The Football Supporters Federation are already putting in good work. The concept of bringing back Safe Standing has been brought up many times, even in English Football. Yet each time, the suggestion gets brushed off, forgotten.
Even Ivan Gazidis was asked about the possibility of Safe Standing at the Emirates, during a 2010 Arsenal Supporters Trust Q&A session. He was all for it:
“It is something that I have always been open to,” said Gazidis. “The more I learn about it, the more complex an issue it is, but viscerally it is something that I find attractive because it gives fans, a certain group of fans who like to stand who create the atmosphere, another way to be in our stadium.”
Additionally, The Black Scarf Movement have also voiced their opinion. Here’s what they had to say:
We held talks with the Safe Standing Roadshow and were prepared to arrange for them to visit the club and demonstrate how it works in Germany and how far the technology has advanced. Unfortunately the club weren’t interested in this when we spoke to them about it, but given more and more clubs in England getting behind the idea, we feel Arsenal should investigate the possibility of installing this seating at Emirates Stadium.
As you can see, the work has been going in to drive home the wants of the fans. The Football Supporters Federation have been doing good general campaigning, whilst The Block Scarf Movement have spoken to Arsenal directly. The issue? Nothing has happened. There isn’t enough noise.
As you can see from Ivan Gazidis’ quote, Arsenal as a club are not totally against the idea. However, we need to put pressure on the club so that they can in turn be our amplified voice in front of governmental bodies. Afterall, that’s part of what the Club is there for, to represent and acknowledge its fan base.
So, we need to take action.
[title]Cutting to the Chase[/title]
Let me get right to the point. There is some good work going on regarding Safe Standing in general, but we as Arsenal fans need to be putting direct pressure on our Club.
As Arsenal fans, we have a direct relationship with one of the biggest Football Clubs in the world, and so we owe it to the rest of the Footballing world to begin applying pressure where it counts.
So, here it is – a petition. Sign it, share it, shout about it.
Once we get enough signatures together, we can think about notifying the Club about the Petition’s existence. So, Who’s with me?