Arsenal CEO Gazidis open to safe-standing at Emirates

Arsenal could be set to join Aston Villa and their Villa Park plan to introduce a safe-standing area by replicating the scheme at the Emirates.

Villa will put forward their suggestion at a meeting of the Premier League later this season. And if given the go-ahead, the club hope to have the safe standing zone in place in the Holte End by the 2013/14 season.

But as long ago as last summer, Arsenal bigwig Ivan Gazidis revealed that he is in favour of the Gunners looking at the possibility of incorporating a safe standing area at the Emirates.

Chief exec Gazidis told an Arsenal Supporters Trust meeting that it was right to debate the return of terracing as long as it did not compromise fans’ safety.

He said: “It is something that I have always been open to. 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.

“Why would you be against that, if you can do it safely? There are some issues, some very practical issues around safe standing; the rake of the stands and so on, that may make it cost prohibitive if it is not designed into the stadium at the beginning, but it is not something I am close minded to and I am prepared to explore it.”

Will Villa’s initiative give Gazidis fresh impetus to follow through his thoughts with actions?

It is reported, meanwhile, that Villa will need a change in law for the plans to go ahead. Villa are said to be keeping a close eye on the introduction of ‘rail-seats’ in stadiums such as Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park.

These are flip-up seats which are Uefa-compliant and can accommodate seated supporters during designated all-seater matches or be stowed away to create a standing area at other times.

According to the Birmingham Mail, club chief executive Paul Faulkner has provisionally earmarked the corner ofVilla Park, where the Holte End meets theTrinity Road stand, for a test area.

Last month the Scottish Premier League gave its clubs permission to introduce safe-standing areas within their stadiums.

12 Comments on "Arsenal CEO Gazidis open to safe-standing at Emirates"

  1. A bit optimistic to think about safe standing considering that there will be loads of empty seats next year ….

    • Spot on !!!

    • how is it a bit optimistic. safe standing will allow cheap tickets and more people in, arsenal have good support so stadium will always be full

      • exactly, loads of fans want to go to more arsenal games but simply cant afford it. if there were cheaper standing areas it would massively increase the demand.

    • The only seats that are empty are ones already paid for by supporters that have obviously got far too much money so can afford not to show up or like some of my pals arrive 10 minutes after kick off and leave 10 minutes into the second half. my lad has just joint the waiting list his number is 42337 so anything to generate more affordable season tickets will only be another money spinner for the club but will also benefit the fans

    • Mug.

  2. Anything that adds to the atmosphere at The Emirates will be a good thing.  Providing access to the standing area is restricted to genuine Arsenal supporters, who want to sing and chant, not to the silent prawn sandwich brigade and Japanese tourists then the club can only benefit.

    I have fond memories of standing at Highbury and many other grounds around the country, although it wasn’t always exactly a picnic.  On occasions the crowds would surge down the terrace crushing people against the barriers and causing injuries.

    Maybe things have changed a bit nowadays but the terraces where never that hygienic as people where reluctant to lose their favoured spot in order to go to the lavatories.

    As I very rarely get to games these days I’m all for the idea of safe standing.

    • JIN, I go to alot of away games and we always stand. As do fans when they come to us. So I think it will happen. As long as tickets are sold in advance and the turnstiles are used as they are now, there is no chance of anything happeninglike back in the day.

  3. Ihave been a gooner for 50 plus years and have seen bad times and out of this world times and reckon the bad times are about to hit us again, how is it the fans can see even when we have our best defence out we still cant hack it we have to score 3 goals to win a game as we allways let in 1or 2.. We havent got a ball winner in midfield and not a player to read the game that can lay off any quality balls. Sorry if I have pissed you off but i think there is a few thousand who agree.And to make things worse we have a team that I cant even bring myself to say the name above us and Ithink will finish there. Sad aint I

  4. What would the capacity be if this was introduced anyone know?

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