February 11 – Manchester United have taken a step closer installing a small standing area at their Old Trafford ground by submitting a formal request.
United are in favour of rail seating in parts of the ground for up to 1,500 fans and recently conducted a “detailed and comprehensive” feasibility study
They believe the seats, which allow people to stand against a barrier, will “enhance spectator safety” in areas where there is persistent standing anyway.
Standing was outlawed in the top two divisions in English football following a report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. But recent changes to safety rules mean clubs can now install seats incorporating safety barriers at their grounds.
“It is fantastic news that the world’s most famous club is seeking to enhance spectator safety in this way,” said Jon Darch, of the Safe Standing campaign group.
With so many fans standing regardless of all-seater grounds, a recent government report found stadium seating areas which incorporate barriers have a “positive impact on spectator safety”.
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