Return to Terracing – a good idea or something best left in the past?

A lot was said last week about the potential return of the terraces to football stadiums. I decided I would sit back and see what people have to say about it.

For those that live on Mars with no WiFi or Sky Digital: the government met last Monday with the football authorities, police and the  Football Supporters Federation (FSF),  to discuss the possible return of standing areas at football matches.

Let’s start by squaring something off. The events that happened at Hillsborough nearly 22 years ago changed the face of football in this country. The 96 people that died that day will always be part of football history in this country and will never be forgotten. Hillsborough was a tragedy, but as stated in Lord Justice Taylor’s report, it was not football terracing that caused it. But it seems the words ‘Terrace’ and ‘Hillsborough’ go hand in hand, so straight away this topic gets opposition without the arguments being heard.

I think there are so many wider issues within football that will surface because of this debate. Firstly football is becoming damn expensive and I can see problems lying ahead if we do not address this. One of the FSF’s points about terracing is that it would create a cheaper ticket for the everyday fan. Let’s not forget the heritage of this game; football is not only our national sport, England is not only the birth place of football, but football has been driven forward and funded by me, the everyday fan. Cheaper terrace tickets would finally give something back – I want something back, I deserve something back and if you’re reading this, so do you.

This week I asked a few people, both male and female, what their passion in life was. What was the one thing that brought feeling and meaning to their lives outside of friends and family. The responses were mixed and surprising, but it transpired that not many people have a passion … unless they follow sport.

Football is my passion and it breaks my heart to go to lifeless, soulless, football matches with no atmosphere. The core singers at games have always been the everyday fan, singing because of passion and unity. Well how about we actually give the everyday fan the chance of going to a game.

Football is starting to forget its roots like the big time Charlie who loses touch with reality and forgets what life is about (a certain Charlie springs to mind). Football is continuously becoming less about us, the fans, and more about business. Footballers themselves are becoming more and more like robots; less and less emotion and more optimum performance.

The everyday fan is the reason why football is where it is, we are the reason that football is so great. Footballers seem to have more ‘gagging orders’ than they do flash cars these days, but I will tell you what is gagged: football, all of it. The players, the managers, the referee’s and most of all the fans.

What other business is so unresponsive to what its customers want?

Terrace culture is what football is really about. Back before big business, back before players made so much money it makes you sick. The terraces epitomised the escapism that we all need from the modern day world we live in. The terraces bought people together, created a community, gave people somewhere to belong, away from whatever was going on at home or work.

All the terrace haters can rack off in my opinion, terraces are not dangerous. If we can build double-decker jumbo jets, carry out complicated medical procedures and access a planet’s worth of information through our phones 24/7 then surely we have the smarts to come up with a design for modern day terracing? Germany already do it well. If you can stand or sit at music concerts, why can’t you at football matches?

So as a football fan I am getting behind the FSF and so is Football Rascal. You should too if this is something that you truly want. Everyone has a bit of Rascal in them, because The Rascal is the modern, everyday football fan. So if you want to join us, sign the petition here and make yourselves heard!

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  1. Gary Peters says:

    I grew up on the terraces and they were absolutely sh!tty back then, literally a piece of concrete with a few wooden beams that you would be lucky to lean on, if you could reach. For me it isn’t about that – I can no longer go to football matches, a lot of the time I don’t want to as the atmosphere and passion has gone.

    I hope fans can have a choice, something magical could come from this, but it probably won’t as the money grabbers in football won’t like it. For once it would be nice that somethings are not about money!

  2. Dan says:

    Good piece overall, I agree with pretty much all the points raised. However, I don’t think it benefits the cause to continually harp on about “the return of terracing”, it’s inaccurate. Similarly, I think you could have used a different image at the top of the piece, perhaps of the safe standing set up in Germany. This isn’t a dig at you though or this piece, i’ve seen it used both intentionally & unintentionally on numerous sites both pro & anti standing.

    We don’t want a return to the wide open concrete swathes of the 80s terracing, we want the introduction of safe standing, something much different & much safer. The word “terracing” conjures up images of people crammed onto concrete steps like sardines, football violence & disasters such as Hillsborough hence why it’s specifically used by those who are against the introduction of standing areas in stadiums to argue their point. It’s much more emotive & evocative than the phrase “safe standing” which by it’s very nature doesn’t sound very dangerous at all does it?

    No to terracing, yes to safe standing!

  3. Callam says:

    What a powerful read. Could not disagree more with the sentiment. It’s about time the game gave entry level fans a way in and made the whole thing more accessible to people.

    Hopefully a few more articles like this one will start the ball rolling!

  4. Rascals: For what it’s worth, I like your style! I am looking for a place to show a funny weekly EPL overview: Platinum Tipped Iceberg. The first one is already in the can if you’re interested? Thanks for listening. paul

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