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Mansford has cost and safety concerns over ‘safe standing’

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 21st February 2014
Ben Mansford.

Barnsley chief executive Ben Mansford says the club is 'supportive' of the Safe Standing Campaign but there are no plans to trial standing at Oakwell.


The campaign aims to encourage Championship and Premier League clubs to introduce standing areas at their grounds on a trial basis and proposes 'rail seats' which are like traditional terraces but with seats attached. Standing areas were banned after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.


Mansford said: "We are fully supportive of the campaign and know that it has had a positive response from fans. But we just need to make sure we fully consider the safety implications because there have been injuries in rail seating in other countries. We also have to be mindful of what happened at Hillsborough and the fact that there is still an inquiry going on into those events.


"There is also the practical consideration that Barnsley Football Club has turned Oakwell into an all-seater stadium and the cost of creating a standing section would be considerable.  Our priority in terms of investment has to be the playing squad. We are always willing to listen to fans but there are no plans to introduce a standing section at Oakwell at the moment."


The Barnsley Supporters' Trust's Paul Gallagher said: "I think Ben Mansford is absolutely right. "There are some Barnsley fans who would love a singing area to create atmosphere throughout a whole game but very few of them would want the club to spend money on that over signing a new player. If the club are ever in a position to rebuild the West Stand, then maybe they could add some rail seats. A small minority of Barnsley fans have let us down with their behaviour at the Ipswich and Doncaster games and that would probably be worse in a standing area."