Bramley-Moore: An Everton fan’s view on safe standing

Everton fan and Blue Room contributor Matt Jones gives his opinions on safe standing following news that the Toffees plan to introduce rail seating at their new ground.

Matt Jones

With the Hillsborough disaster still etched painfully into the hearts and minds of many on Merseyside, Evertonians have always felt a duty of care when it comes to discussing safe standing at football.

The dynamic shifted in 2017, when a survey conducted by the Spirit of Shankly Liverpool fan organisation said 88 per cent of Reds fans from a pool of 18,000 said they’d be in favour of safe standing being implemented. That result felt like a mandate for plenty on Merseyside, both red and blue, to accelerate talk about the initiative.

With that considered, it’s not a shock to read reports that Everton are seeking to introduce rail seating at Bramley-Moore dock, where their new stadium is expected to be built in the coming years.

It feels like a positive move and one that’ll future-proof any new venue when it’s eventually built. Of course, that’ll be subject to any change in match-going regulations before the stadium opens that permits the rail seating.

Bramley Moore

Everton’s Bramley-Moore stadium plans to include rail seating

The Toffees are clearly keen on recapturing the unique Goodison Park atmosphere at any new home and giving supporters the chance to stand in comfort behind each goal can be a catalyst for that.

The “safe” aspect is key too. As a Gwladys Street season-ticket holder—the liveliest part of Goodison—and an away game regular, it’s rare for me to be sat down at a football match at all.

When an important goal is scored, it’s a shock if you don’t have some token of the subsequent wild celebrations, whether that be a shin bruise from the seat in front of you or a cut from someone falling over the top of you from a row behind.

As long as the debate around safe standing continues to be positive, progressive and mindful of what’s happened previously, it’d be terrific to see Everton at the forefront of the conversation.

Matt Jones is a broadcaster and journalist who hosts the Blue Room Podcast, talking all things Everton. You can follow him on Twitter at @MattJFootball.


The Blue Room

The Blue Room is an independent Everton website run by a selection of journalists and contributors. In March 2018, The Blue Room partnered with FansBet and and as a result has been able to improve every facet of the podcast and website in a number of different ways.

“Via our partnership with FansBet, we’ve been able to expand our offering of podcasts to our subscribers and have invested in a number of different pieces of much-needed equipment having previously relied on the good nature of broadcast partners and their facilities,” explains Dave Downey of The Blue Room.

“We’ve also been able to enhance our digital platforms, purchase prizes for competitions and even subsidise travel to conduct interviews with former players. All of this, in just a few short months, has enhanced our social media following and products which continue to grow week by week.”

The relationship between The Blue Room and FansBet is a partnership where Evertonians can benefit in several different ways with more and more fans turning to FansBet as an alternative to their previous bookmaker due to the genuine concern for all aspects of fan culture due to the fact they we are committed to giving back 50% of net profit to fan organisations and Trusts.

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