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Charlotte is in this month’s edition of The Grass is Greener, the fanzine of the Argyle Fans’ Trust.

It is time for safe standing and fans on club boards

When I was asked by the Argyle Fans’ Trust to write an article for the Grass is Greener, I was delighted and not just because I will take any chance I get to tell people about how a Labour Government wants to address some of the big issues facing our national game. My chap was one of the founders of the Trust so, not only is it a pleasure to write for its fanzine, I know just how important Argyle is to so many people here in Plymouth and beyond. I know all the stories about how the fans were instrumental in saving the club, as well as tales of the great atmosphere when fans can stand, whether that’s at Argyle, at away games, or at clubs like Dortmund.

We’re lucky to have a fan as the owner of our club, especially one who is investing in the stadium, training facilities, and the first team, but it hasn’t always been this way. Back in the dark days of administration, which weren’t so long ago, fans came to the fore and showed that there is a depth of knowledge, passion, and experience out there in the Argyle community that could really benefit the club at the highest level. With a Labour Government, we will see trusts given the chance to elect board members and to buy shares when a club changes hands. We’ll also see a full review of football governance, focusing on increasing fan participation, boosting the women’s game, and better funding for grass roots football. Change has been a long time coming, but it is coming.

I know that standing at Argyle is causing a lot of debate at the moment, and that’s why I am so pleased to be able to write about Labour backing safe standing. It is the best way to improve the atmosphere at our grounds and to make sure that everyone has the choice over whether they want to sit or stand. No more arguments over views being blocked, or what constitutes persistent standing. With so much evidence that it’s safe, and that fans want it introduced, I really can’t see why it hasn’t already been allowed in this country. Fans stand safely when they go to games in some other European countries,

and there are plenty of old terraces in the lower leagues. It’s such a shame that Argyle weren’t able to reinstate the Mayflower Terrace in the redeveloped Grandstand because the Government have chosen to ignore both fans and the evidence.

Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about Labour’s plans for football and thank you to the Trust for inviting me to write this piece. Hopefully, by next season, we’ll all be talking about how a promoted Argyle can fit safe standing in and how we need the space as Ryan Lowe’s team challenge to get us back in the Championship!

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