Supporters back move for standing at football ground
Football fans say they would welcome being able to stand at the King Power stadium, after seeing a display of how it could be made possible.
Scores of supporters attended an exhibition at the Safe Standing system yesterday – which is widely used in Germany and Austria and involves barriers and optional fold-down metal seats.
Since the Hillborough disaster in which 96 people died in a stadium crush, top clubs have had to ensure their fans sit down during games.
However, 23 years on, the call is growing for the right to stand at matches and the Safe Standing system is being shown off around the UK in a campaign by the Football Supporters Federation.
Fan Gary Jacques, 48, of Countesthorpe, who was at the exhibition on Saturday, said: "We want to be treated like humans.
"It's much safer and you're actually going to get less injuries without the seats in front digging into you legs.
"With this system you couldn't surge forwards if you tried."
Alistair Proudman, 19, of Wigston, said: "It's quite impressive. There is less danger because people aren't going to topple over the seats any more."
City season ticket-holder Stuart Ellison arranged the demonstration of Safe Standing at the Counting House pub, in Freemans Park, Leicester, ahead of City's match against Peterborough on Saturday.
He said: "It's the first time I've seen the system myself and I think it's brilliant.
"We've had a lot of people looking at it and everyone seems to be in favour of it."
However, the estimated costs of buying the Safe Standing system is £80 per seat space, which would mean a bill of well over £2.5 million for the whole of the King Power Stadium, before fitting costs.
When asked about the campaign to change the law Leicester City Football Club said it does what the law requires.
A spokesman said: "The conditions of King Power Stadium's safety licence, as prescribed under the Football Spectators Act 1989, require all parts of the stadium to be all-seater."
However, some Leicester fans admitted standing despite the law.
Ben Bayne, 22, of Broughton Astley, said: "It's a much better atmosphere at away games where everyone's standing."
While all the fans who saw the Safe Standing system seemed to like the idea, some had doubts things would change.
Steve Bates, 22, from Countesthorpe, said: "I'm for it 100 per cent. I think the club will be wary about it because they will pay all this money to replace the seats and after all that investment the fans will expect to pay less for a ticket because they're standing up."
Daniel Varney, 24, of Thorpe Astley, said: "It's a good idea but it won't be supported by the politicians because of what's preceded it."