Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 16:59 UK

Fans stand against all-seat rule

fans on football terrace - crystal palace 1989
Scottish Premier League grounds must be all-seater

MSPs have taken up a call from football supporters to overturn the ban on standing areas at Scottish Premier League football stadiums.

A group of Dunfermline Athletic fans argued the all-seater rule penalised clubs who were forced to build new stands for promotion to the SPL.

They told Holyrood's cross-party petitions committee that smaller clubs then had problems filling them.

The committee agreed to refer the call to the Scottish Government.

Convener Frank McAveety also asked police and the Scottish Premier League to give their reaction to the campaign.

Dunfermline supporters have gathered 2,314 signatures on the petition.

'Lack of atmosphere'

The Fife club is in the First Division of the Scottish Football League but fans want to see standing areas allowed if they should win promotion.

Stephen Taylor, of the Pars Supporters Trust, told BBC Scotland: "First and foremost we are coming from the point of view of the lack of atmosphere at grounds, something I think even the Old Firm fans would accept."

Mr Taylor said he was proposing "safe" standing areas along the model demonstrated by German clubs.

He said there was no desire to go back to the "old days" of cramped and unsafe terraces.

"We are looking at limited standing and clubs having the choice," he said.

"At the moment if you get to the SPL there is minimum 6,000 seats and no standing.

"You have got clubs in the First Division just now such as Queen of the South, Greenock Morton and Ross County who this time next year could be vying for promotion to the SPL.

"They would be faced with a major headache, having to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds putting new seats in and will it be worth it?"



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