West Bromwich Albion: Government asked to reconsider safe-standing proposal

Fan standing in the safe-standing section at Celtic Park
Safe-standing areas, such as the one here at Celtic Park, are a fixture at many European football grounds

Labour have asked the government to reconsider their decision to reject West Brom's safe-standing application.

The club's request to install 3,600 rail seats was rejected by the sports minister, Tracey Crouch, in April.

Parliament will hold a debate on safe-standing at football grounds on 25 June, with the Government set to commission a review into the issue.

Standing in the top two divisions has been outlawed since 1994 in line with the Football Spectators Act of 1989.

The legislation was introduced following recommendations made in the Taylor Report after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

But in May, League One side Shrewsbury Town became the first English Football League club to install rail seats at their ground,

"The Government could use West Brom's proposal as a trial for next season - I urge the Minister to reconsider," said Labour's shadow sports minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP.

More than 112,000 people signed a petition asking for Premier League and Championship clubs to be allowed to introduce safe-standing, triggering the debate later this month.

The Premier League's outgoing executive chairman, Richard Scudamore, has also backed plans to allow clubs and fans to decide on safe standing areas at grounds.

In a statement responding to the petition, the DCMS said: "The Government believes that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales, while continuing to work closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and football authorities to consider advances in technology and data that may enhance the existing policy."

West Brom will play in the Championship next season after finishing bottom of the Premier League in 2017-18, having won only six of their 38 matches.

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