Ivan Gazidis has revealed that he is in favour of Arsenal exploring further the possibility of incorporating a safe standing area at the Emirates.
Speaking at a question and answer session with the Arsenal Supporters Trust the Gunners CEO stressed that it was right for a debate to take place about the return of terracing so long as it did not compromise the safety of spectators.
“It is something that I have always been open to,” confirmed Gazidis.
“The more I learn about it, the more complex an issue it is, but viscerally it is something that I find attractive because it gives fans, a certain group of fans who like to stand who create the atmosphere, another way to be in our stadium.
“Why would you be against that, if you can do it safely?
“There are some issues, some very practical issues around safe standing; the rake of the stands and so on, that may make it cost prohibitive if it is not designed into the stadium at the beginning, but it is not something I am close minded to and I am prepared to explore it.”
Terraces were banned following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and all-seater stadia became compulsory in 1994 for all top flight sides. Over the course of the last eighteen years the enforced changes have been credited for the increased number of women and children attending matches and for a marked drop in hooliganism.
Despite all-seated arenas largely being labelled a success fans have continue to call for specially designed standing areas to be re-introduced with a view to improving match atmosphere and to open up cheaper tickets for fans.
In March the Football Supporters’ Federation launched an online petition calling for the return of standing areas in the top two divisions although it was met with opposition from the Premier League.
To watch a video of Ivan Gazidis answering questions from the Arsenal Supporters Trust, click here.