Message for supporters.
Most supporters will be aware that persistently standing at football grounds is not permitted.
The club is receiving an increasing number of complaints from supporters, particularly those located in the South Stand area, stating that their view of the game is being compromised by some fans standing throughout the 90 minutes. Not only is this an issue of supporter comfort, but the club has a legal obligation to take steps against those fans who persistently stand as this breaches ground regulations and legislation.
By not being seen to be taking steps to eradicate persistent standing within the Stadium of Light the club could face seeing the capacity of certain areas of the stadium reduced, or if the problem persists, closed altogether, which will impact on the season card holders sitting in those areas – something naturally the club is very keen to avoid.
Supporters may have noticed increased stewarding in areas where persistent standing has become and issue and this has led to 38 supporters being ejected from the stadium for failing to comply with requests to remain seated.
SAFC’s head of safety and security Paul Weir said: “The figure for fans ejected due to persistent standing last season as a whole was just 20 so we can see that there has been a significant increase in the early part of this season. We certainly dont wish to spoil the enjoyment of any supporters, we want a vibrant lively matchday atmosphere just as much as the fans do, but we also have legal obligations that we must be seen to be adhering to.
“We also have a duty of care to all of our supporters, including elderly and disabled fans who have contacted us very concerned that their enjoyment on a matchday is being compromised because people around them stand throughout the game. Naturally we want to ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone at the Stadium of Light and we’d ask supporters to listen to requests from stewards and help us to eradicate persistent standing for the sake of all fans.”