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Liverpool fans vote overwhelmingly in favour of safe standing

Liverpool fans have voted strongly in favour of safe standing at football stadiums, although a change in legislation would be required before it could be introduced in the Premier League.

Rail seating is in place at Celtic's Parkhead home and at many European stadiums, although for UEFA competitions rules dictate that the grounds must revert to an all-seater design.

Liverpool supporters' union Spirit of Shankly consulted with Hillsborough families over the poll, which saw 17,910 fans take part, with 88 per cent voting in favour of introducing rail seating.

The results show five per cent voted against the system, while five per cent of respondents wanted more information and two per cent were undecided.

"Such a turnout and overwhelming majority in favour of rail seating cannot be ignored," Spirit of Shankly said in a statement. "It was always our intention to ensure all supporters had an opportunity to contribute, listen to differing views and then decide. This has now happened.

"We realise the significance of this vote both locally and in the wider debate nationally. From when discussions of rail seating first began, Liverpool supporters and Hillsborough have been referenced both as a reason not to do it, or as a possible turning point that would allow its introduction. 

"Now, our views are known and we urge everyone to digest and understand the sensitivities and detail behind the outcome. Our voice and views should not be misused, misrepresented or misappropriated by anyone. We will not allow that.

"No one has 'won'. There are no winners or losers. There may be disagreement with views on either side, but we gave everyone an opportunity to have their say and ask their questions. To those who cannot understand this, we urge them to consider the experiences and heartache that many have felt and experienced during this time."

Liverpool previously indicated the club would listen to supporter views over safe standing, but the Hillsborough Family Support Group is against the introduction of safe standing.