Arsene Wenger backs calls for standing areas in Premier League

Premier League clubs are set to discuss the possibility of introducing safe standing areas this week

BY Adrian Collins 10:42 Tuesday 15 November 2016, 10:42 15 Nov 2016

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture by: Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The possibility of standing areas returning to grounds in the Premier League is getting closer to becoming a reality. 

The introduction of all-seater stadiums in England came about as a result of the Lord Justice Taylor report in 1994, in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. 

However, examples from around the rest of Europe, including in Germany and a recent addition of a safe standing area to Celtic Park, have shown that there is a way to introduce something similar in England. 

A meeting between the Premier League clubs to formally discuss the idea will take place later this week, according to The Guardian, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed the calls to see safe standing brought in to stadiums around the top tier.

Speaking to BeIN Sports, Wenger said that the atmosphere in England is a huge part of the game, and that standing areas would make it even more impressive. 

"The further you are away from the position of the play, the less supportive you are. The more you get comfortable...if you imagine people all lying on their back, and watching a game, maybe half of them will fall asleep.

"It has taken something away [not having standing areas]. It has added security, but it has taken something away from the frenzy of the support.  

"I'm absolutely in favour of the idea. That's what I recently said. I'm really sad with what happened in West Ham, because it gives some arguments to people who are against standing support. 

"I personally am completely for it, especially behind the goal, you would have a different atmosphere in the stadiums."

Speaking about his favourite grounds to travel to in the league, Wenger gave special mention to Anfield, stating that the atmosphere there is always memorable.  

"I would say my favourite stadium, with the biggest fan base, for me the most heated atmosphere, is Liverpool, because there are special vibes there. The song before the game, 'You'll Never Walk Alone', the history of the club...

"The stadium is like Highbury was before, when it was Highbury. It absolutely has a special soul. Now, I think Everton, Newcastle are great as well, where football is like it was 30 years ago, because of the environment of the game, the passion, the soul in the stadium."


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