United to install safe standing area ahead of next season

Manchester United have been given the green light to install 1,500 barrier seats that will allow fans the option to safely stand next season.

The club announced Tuesday that the Trafford Council approved its proposal to trial barrier seating at Old Trafford and installation options are being discussed with potential suppliers.

“Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where – as with other clubs – we have seen examples of persistent standing,” United managing director Richard Arnold said.

“It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy. If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.”

Wolverhampton is the only other Premier League club to receive permission to install a safe standing area; Wolves installed rail seating at Molineux Stadium last summer.

David Rogers / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Standing at stadiums in the top two flights of English football has been banned since 1994 in response to recommendations in the Taylor Report, which examined the cause of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool supporters died at an FA Cup match.

Talks of re-implementing standing sections at stadiums have picked up in recent years, with new guidance from the Sports Ground Safety Authority in 2018 ultimately paving the way for United’s plan.

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