Saturday, March 17, 2007

All rise

The Football Supporters' Federation are campaigning to bring back terraces to the top 2 divisions in England. For many, that brings back the horrible memories of the Hillsbourgh disaster, and they instinctively recoil from the idea.

The FSF is holding up the German Bundesliga as an example of how to do things properly, and I couldn't agree more. When Niall and I traveled there for the world cup last year, our seats for the Korea vs Switzerland match were in the convertible seating section of the lovely AWD Arena. During international matches and European games, they were seats, but for league matches, all the seats behind the goal flipped up to create terraces (click on the picture above to see what I mean). The atmosphere was awesome in the stadium anyway, mostly due to the astonishing Korea fans (but also due to the impressively animated Swiss fans), but I can imagine that the atmosphere could be improved significantly at league games with the terracing. Standing up seems to encourage "hardcore" fans to become even more vocal. The German authorities also emphasise the practical non-existence of injuries caused by terracing.

Whenever (increasingly rarely lately) I go to see the mighty Ross County in action, I always stand in the legendary Jail End, where the atmosphere is brilliant. Transferring this to the Premier League could only be a good thing.

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