I'm circulating this email to as many Scottish football websites / fanzines as is possible . Let me first of all introduce myself. My name is Steven Powell. I work on a part-time freelance basis for the Football Supporters' Federation, which represents supporters of clubs and national teams at all levels in both England & Wales.
Some weeks ago Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock promoted an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons at Westminster calling for a considered debate on the introduction of safe standing areas in England & Wales. Standing was prohibited by law in the top two divisions down here following the Hillsborough Disaster. Although there is no statutory prohibition on standing at football grounds in Scotland, the SFA and the SPL were arm-twisted into introducing an all-seated requirement on the basis that similar legislation would be introduced in Scotland to that south of the border if they did not.
The EDM has so far received the support of 92 MPs, including representatives of the Labour (45), Conservative (21), Liberal Democrats (18), Democratic Unionist (2) and Social Democratic & Labour Parties (2) and Plaid Cymru (1). It isn't often that you see MPs with as radically different views as Ann Cryer and Anne Widdecombe on the same side of the ball!
I and my FSF colleagues down here are hoping that you and other websites / fanzines will want to circulate your members asking them to contact their Westminster MPs to ask them to join their colleagues south of the border in signing the EDM. The FSF (and before its formation in 2002, its two founding partners, the former Football Supporters' Association and the National Federation of Football Supporters' Clubs) have campaigned long and hard for the repeal of the regulations requiring all-seater stadia by law in England & Wales.
I don't assume that you personally are in favour of safe standing. That would be presumptious. If you are however, I hope you'll want to do what you can to get Scottish Westminster MPs to sign the EDM. Whilst it will not bring the repeal of the regulations itself, it will help us to force the Westminster Government into a debate on the issue.
You can find details of the EDM and which Westminster MPs have already signed it by going to:
You can find out contact details for your Westminster MP by simply typing in your home postcode at the following site: http://www.writetothem.com
If you'd like any further information or to discuss this issue further, please don't hesitate to get in touch with either myself or the FSF national council member who co-ordinates our work on safe standing, Phill Gatenby.
My email address is: email@example.com my telephone number is 07881 950613.
Phill's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org His telephone number is 07843 446397.
Please let Phill have copies of any letters/emails you send and any replies you receive. The postal address is: Phill Gatenby, FSF, Fans' Stadium – Kingsmeadow, Jack Goodchild Way, 422a Kingston Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, England, KT1 3PB.
Just in case you're not familiar with Early Day Motions, only backbench MPs are able to sign them. Westminster Government Ministers are not able to. Parliamentary Parliamentary Secretaries (PPS) can sign them, although this can be problematic. It's still worth you and your members writing/emailing MPs who are Government ministers / PPSs to express your support for the choice to sit or stand at top games though.
PLEASE PASS ON THIS INFORMATION TO ALL YOUR MEMBERS, AND ANY OTHER SUPPORTER ORGANISATIONS, FANZINES OR WEBSITES YOU'RE IN TOUCH WITH. IT'S TIME FOR SUPPORTERS TO RECLAIM THE GAME!
Head of Development
Football Supporters' Federation