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Day: December 20, 2011

The Twohundredpercent Review Of 2011: A Winter Of Discontent

There is definitely something in the air. If the landscape of the football supporter has been defined by any single theme over the last two or three years, then the notion of protest and a more general feeling of satisfaction at the way on which our game is being run has to come close to the top of anybody’s list. As British society has come to feel more fractured and fractious over the last couple of years, this has been reflected in an arena in which the consumers – those who commit so much to keep the whole circus running – have for too long merely their lot, with all of its attendant injustices and inequalities. The autumn and winter of 2011, however, have started to feel like football’s winter of discontent. The notion of a rebirth of disquiet amongst supporters is a broad spectrum, which takes in all levels of football, from the shabby goings-on in the hushed corridors of the global governing body of the game to fury at non-league clubs over the way that they are being managed. They range from the expressly political to the completely political neutral. They have one thing in common, though – the dawning of three critical realisations: that football supporters are more than mere consumers of the game, and that mere consumers would seldom be treated as badly as football supporters...

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A Glimmer Of Light Over Safe Standing?

It was only a tiny step forward, but those that have been campaigning for the return of terraces in the form of safe standing had a rare reason to be cheerful yesterday with an announcement from north of the border, that the Scottish Premier League is to trial a pilot that may see the return of standing at matches in the near future.  That this announcement should be popular is hardly surprising. The argument in favour of the introduction is a far more sophisticated one than many give it credit for being, but to what extent is such an announcement merely an exercise in public relations from a league that is viewed with as much – perhaps even more – distrust by the supporters of its clubs as the English Premier League is to its south? The announcement yesterday from Neil Doncaster, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Premier League, certainly seems to have caught a few by surprise. Under the new scheme, clubs taking part in the SPL will have to have a minimum of 6,000 covered seats, but can apply for the any capacity over this to be in the form of safe standing, as is used in Germany. Ground grading issues between the Scottish Football League and the SPL have long been a thorn in the side of Scotland’s middle-ranking clubs, to the extent that the minimum...

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