Liverpool will maintain their opposition to any proposals to introduce standing at Premier League stadiums after the idea was floated this week.
The Premier League has written to all their member clubs as part of a wide-ranging consultation on the idea of ‘safe standing’, and asked all 20 which – if any – would be interested in piloting any such scheme.
League officials have stressed they have no plans at this stage to pursue the idea, but want to get the views of the clubs before deciding whether to move forward on a request by some fan groups to re-introduce limited standing at grounds.
Liverpool have always followed the wishes of their supporters in opposing the idea, and it is understood their response will be clear in declining to take part in any pilot scheme.
At this stage though, they will not comment further, because the letter is merely a questionnaire, and not a proposal.
Standing was outlawed at football grounds on the recommendation of the 1990 report by Lord Justice Taylor into the Hillsborough Disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed.
But in recent years, groups such as the Football Supporters’ Federation have campaigned to reintroduce limited standing areas using modern seating technology, such as rail seats.
The Hillsborough Family Support Group though, has always opposed safe standing, and have made it known they will continue to do so.
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The Premier League emphasise their letter is merely part of a ‘consultation process’, and their officials have expressed no support for the idea, instead remaining neutral when the subject has been raised at league meetings.
In fact, government legislation was introduced to outlaw standing at football grounds, and there is an understanding the law would need to be changed in Parliament to now allow it.
That is unlikely to happen in the near future, with a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport insisting on Thursday that there are no plans to address it.
Premier League bosses will not push for new legislation, but they want to get the full views of their 20 member clubs as the topic gains momentum among supporters.
Stoke fans are among those who have called for clubs to consider the idea, with Malcolm Clarke, the chairman of the FSF and a lifelong Potters fan, suggesting his group want to see the legislation changed.
But the Potters have made clear that while they are not against the idea, they will not pioneer it either.
That seems to represent the views of most clubs, while Liverpool, and their Merseyside neighbours Everton, will continue to oppose any standing areas.