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Eagles back safe standing as plans for trial step up


ON TUESDAY, it was announced that Palace are one of 13 clubs supporting the idea to reintroduce standing at football grounds, according to the Football Supporters' Federation.

The hope is that the pilot scheme will show that standing is now safe to watch football after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, and Palace co-chairman Steve Parish says the club have been open to the idea initially.

"We worked closely with the fans' federation and they feel safe standing works in a lot of other countries," he told Advertiser Sport.

"Fans do stand up anyway at matches. I think people would like to see some standing re-introduced so let's see where it goes.

"If it was something we'd want to sign up to, we'd want to see all the details.

"I think it could be a home fans' thing where you buy a season ticket, and the idea in mind is a half-seating, half-standing that you can lean against.

"I used to stand in front of the Arthur Wait Stand, so maybe it could go down the front of there."

Meanwhile, Parish revealed his frustration at the latest incident in English football that's putting a black mark against the sport.

"It's a big topic at the moment with the coin-throwing incident at Manchester City last weekend," he said.

"I can't believe that with the CCTV we've got now, they can't find the people that do it.

"I think it's unfair on fans because of one or two idiots who are throwing coins.

"Surely we've got to have the technology to catch the people doing it, get rid of them and let everybody else enjoy their football properly."

Ahead of the Eagles' game at Birmingham City tomorrow, Parish says it's important that he and co-chairman Stephen Browett attend as many games as possible to support manager Ian Holloway and his players.

"I'll be at every game everywhere," he said. "I think it's important, and I do miss the odd game with my car racing, but normally I can get a feed so I watch it.

"I think it's important when you're working with a manager that you know what's going on as much as possible.

"It's important that the lads are supported by the owners everywhere you go. Some people don't realise that at football clubs, you won't get successful unless everyone is moving in the same direction.

"We're there, we know that what we're seeing [on the pitch] is what we've spoken about, so I'll be everywhere unless I get flu or something."

And Parish admits he would expect former player Darren Ambrose to take part in tomorrow's game if he has recovered from injury.

"I'll be shooting up to Birmingham," he said. "They've got some good players and of course Darren is up there as well. You'd think if he's fit for the game, he would be on the bench as an ex-player against his former club."

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