Safe Standing: Response to Manchester Evening News Opinion Piece

Below is an extract from the Manchester Evening News, published on 20th February 2014. The pages shown are the ‘Take It As Red’ sports opinion section of the newspaper, where there was an view on standing at football matches. Click the image below to zoom-in on the original article.

I contacted the Manchester Evening News, as encouraged to do at the top of the pages, in response to this article. A copy of the email I sent is shown below. To my knowledge, I have yet to receive any response (other than an automated receipt email) from the newspaper.

From: neil meehan (************@*****.com)
Sent: 20 February 2014 22:53:23
To: (

In response to Chris Ostick’s comment in Take It As Red, February 20th, 2014:

I appreciate this comment is based on personal opinion, but it is ill-informed and ignorant views such as Mr Ostick’s which have for so long prevented the reasonable debate into Safe Standing at top-level UK football events.


I have yet to meet or hear a single person who wishes to ‘return the terraces’, as Mr Ostick claims, and so would be interested to know who these people are. I have, however, encountered swathes who are in favour of ‘rail seats’ or ‘safe standing’, as far removed from old-style ‘terracing’ as Mr Ostick seems to be from the details of the topic.


I suggest he looks into the sterling work done by John Darch and the ‘Safe Standing Roadshow’ team before commenting further. Or asks a supporter of the Bundesliga. As for UK football fans, it is apparent from recent surveys that many would like the option of being able to stand or sit, as people have at rugby, concerts and many other events. This is an important debate which will not benefit from publications such as the MEN printing such poorly-researched comments.


And, if Ostick was paying closer attention, he will no doubt have spotted that those making the ‘stunning atmospheres’ at Celtic Park, Twickenham and the like were, more often than not, standing up.


Neil Meehan


The Manchester Evening News have previously reported the issue of Safe Standing and growing support for the movement (example links below), however I felt this poorly-researched, unbalanced opinion offered nothing new, was unnecessary at this juncture, and potentially detrimental to a cause which is so evidently in the public interest.



For more info on Safe Standing:


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