Safe standing has been an ongoing debate in England since all Championship and Premier League clubs were forced to develop all-seater stadiums in 1994.
The legislation came into place after a number of tragic disasters were triggered by overcrowding, most memorably the Hillsborough tragedy which sadly saw 96 people lose their lives.
This season, however, may be of serious significance in the mission to introduce safe standing sections in the English top divisions, as Celtic are set to implement a standing area in the Lisbon Lions Stand.
With the Scottish champions leading by example, governing bodies are sure to pay close attention to the degree of success this will have, and soon we may see the same south of the border.
Next season will see two clubs with standing terraces in the Championship with Brentford still looking to relocate and newly promoted Burton Albion permitted to keep terracing up to three seasons following their promotion.
Countries such as Germany have adopted safe standing for a while because both UEFA and FIFA only require teams to have all seater grounds for international competitions, meaning that seating must be reinstalled for the Champions and Europa League.
The last few years have seen campaigners increase pressure on reintroducing standing areas, and it is thought that a vast majority of football fans are in favour of safe standing.
In a survey ran on Your Voice, 96% of 2,364 voters were in favour of safe standing. This figure supports the general sense of opinion you get from supporters, and shows that the interest is high enough to be taken seriously.
So why do fans want standing sections? The main reason is linked with atmosphere. When you look at famously loud grounds like Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, the main noise comes from the yellow wall, which during domestic games is the standing section.
It is no secret that most stadiums have unofficial standing sections at their grounds, usually where the more vocal fans are situated. Away fans are usually allowed to stand as well, despite the odd attempt to make them sit down, and again they tend to be more vocal.
One could argue that it is more dangerous now than it would be if the grounds implemented the correct measures for safe standing areas because fans stand anyway.
It must be considered that not all supporters want to stand. Some people prefer to be remained seated during a game, but standing sections will only be introduced in certain areas of grounds.
We will have to wait and see if Celtic’s addition of ‘rail seats’ will spread to England, but one would think that modern technology and security measures, as well as the growing examples around the world, should lead to a widespread reintroduction of standing areas sooner rather than later.