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Sep 15, 2012

Hillsborough group opposes terrace return

The Hillsborough Family Support Group is preparing to fight a new campaign against any move to bring back terracing, however limited, to top-flight football in England.

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There have been a number of attempts to reintroduce limited terracing because, it is now argued, modern grounds have become safe as a result of the Lord Justice Taylor Report.

The Football Supporters' Federation launched an online petition a year ago calling for the return of standing areas and, at the time, sports minister Hugh Robertson - at a meeting with the FSF, football authorities, police and the Football Licensing Authority - said he would examine the evidence, but it would require a change in the law.

Trevor Hicks, the Hillsborough Family Support Group president, told ESPN that any such change must be opposed.

"We shall resist any calls for terracing," he said. "We against the principle, full stop. If anything positive has come from Hillsborough, if there is one good thing, it is that football was forced to bring in safe all-seater stadia, and I won't put up with any sliding back toward terracing.

"In fact, we feel so strongly about this that we would insist on a judicial review if at any time the football authorities opted to bring back terracing, even in a limited form."

The Premier League has also expressed opposition to the return of terracing.

Meanwhile, Hicks believes fans need to be given greater consideration in terms of the role they play within football.

"If you go way back pre-Hillsborough, and even after it, the fans always had a grievance with the football authorities about ticket allocation, especially for the big games such as cup semi-finals and finals," he said. "Wembley is fine, safe and has a big capacity, but still you see huge amounts of empty seats as there seems to be far too many corporate seats that are left empty."

With wages rising to such high levels, there has been an inevitable increase in ticket prices, and Hicks said: "There needs to be a cap on players' wages, and a cap on ticket prices for the fans."