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Exclusive: Nine in 10 London football fans want safe standing to return to stadiums

Football supporters in London overwhelmingly support safe standing in stadiums, an ITV News London investigation has discovered.

In an online poll, taken by more than 1,500 fans of the capital's 10 Premier League and Championship clubs, 94%supported the idea.

QPR supporter Paul Finney believes safe standing would improve the atmosphere in games

QPR supporter Paul Finney believes it would improve the atmosphere at games, telling us,

"No matter how much we try and make the more modern grounds more acceptable to the chanting and the atmosphere, I it doesn’t work. I think having everyone seated has really hurt clubs, and the atmosphere”.

Some of the families of those who died at Hillsborough do not want standing introduced Credit: PA

Some of the families of those who died at Hillsborough almost 30 years ago, however, do not want standing to be introduced at any cost. It was outlawed after the tragedy, and that remains the case in the top two divisions of football.

Other countries, including Germany, and the lower leagues in English football, allow fans to stand. Tottenham's new stadium will also have 7,500 seats that can be transformed into standing blocks if the law is changed.

This season, Shrewsbury have become the first club in England and Wales to introduce safe standing. In a matter of moments, a key is used to unlock the seat, and make room for a standing position.

Supporters of safe standing argue the rail that remains in place regardless of where the block is all seater or all standing, makes it safe than terracing, and gives fans more choice.

It cost Shrewsbury £65,000 for 550 seats in their new safe standing block, approximately £115 per seat.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch Credit: PA

Sports minister Tracey Crouch has commissioned an official review of the issue.

A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport told ITV News London,

"Over a million watch live football at a ground every week and their safety is paramount. This is clearly an issue many fans and supporters' groups have strong opinions on.

"As Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has confirmed, we are looking into any changes that may be needed. We are commissioning an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy, which will assess and evaluate what evidence already exists and identify any important gaps in data."

No one wants to see a return to the bad old days of hooligans on the terrace, but many fans believe football has become too sterile because of concerns over safety.