League cool on terrace return talk

PRO-TERRACING campaigners have been dealt a blow after the Premier League said it would oppose calls to reintroduce standing areas in top-flight stadia.

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is hopeful that the government will give thorough consideration to their petition for the return of standing areas, which were banned following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

But the Premier League, one of the most powerful stakeholders in the English game, says it has no appetite for doing away with all-seater grounds.

“Our view is that the benefits of all-seater stadia far outweigh the return of standing areas,” said a spokesman. “They have led to more women and more children attending the games and no matter how safe standing can be made, seating is always safer. We will not be encouraging the government to change the law.”

The FSF argues that many fans stand for much of games already, and held talks with government and the police on Monday. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson gave the meeting a tepid reception, while the Association of Police Officers, say they would “need to be convinced of a need to change” back to terraces.