All-seater stadiums became a standard requirement in England’s top two divisions in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 and the Taylor Report that followed.
But there has been a movement more recently to reintroduce standing where it is safe to do so, and rail seats have already been installed at Molineux and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following a change in stadium safety guides permitting the installation of seating with safety barriers.
According to the Daily Mail, United have submitted a request to their local authority to install 1,500 rail seats in the north east quadrant of Old Trafford. The seats will allow people to safely stand against a barrier, with the club keen for a way to ‘enhance spectator safety’ in an area of the stadium where there is already persistent standing.
United had previously launched a consultation on the matter and this request, which was made in December, is currently awaiting a verdict from the Safety Advisory Group, which is a partnership between the local authority and other key bodies including police and fire services.
If permission is granted, the Mail report explains that the safe standing area could be trialled this season. But with only a relatively short time remaining in the campaign, that will very much depend on the speed of the response from the Safety Advisory Group.
The Mail also explains that a report from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority has found that the rail seating at Wolves and Spurs has ‘mitigated the risk of crowd collapse’.
United have a minimum of seven home games between now and the end of the season, but that could grow depending on the club’s progress in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Source : 90min