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Four Premier League clubs to get ‘safe standing’ areas from January

Written by on 8th November 2021

“Safe standing” areas will be introduced at Chelsea, Spurs, Cardiff, Manchester United and Manchester City from New Year’s Day.

They will be the first clubs in the top two divisions of football in England and Wales to allow standing in nearly 30 years.
Fans will be able to stand in certain seated areas as part of a move towards it potentially coming in at more grounds.

“The time is now right to properly trial safe standing in the Premier League and EFL Championship ahead of a decision on a widespread roll-out,” said sports minister Nigel Huddleston.
He said “fans deserve different options on how they can enjoy a live match” but that safety remained “absolutely paramount”.
Standing areas in what is now the Premier League and Championship were outlawed by laws passed in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said he was “delighted” to be involved in the testing of the new standing areas.

“It delivers choice for fans attending the game – whether home or away supporters – and the vast majority of our fans are in favour of this scheme,” he said.
The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) said it was not a reintroduction of terraces to stadiums and that there were strict criteria.
For example, seats cannot be locked in the up or down position – so fans can choose to sit down if they want to; the standing areas mustn’t affect the views of others; and there must be a code of conduct and CCTV in place for the standing sections.

Manchester City is another of the top-flight teams trialling the scheme.
“Our fans have consistently voiced their support for the introduction of safe standing, and we are pleased that we will be able to fully utilise our rail seating installation from January through to the end of the season,” said Danny Wilson, managing director of the cub’s operations.
“As always, safety is our main priority, and we look forward to working closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority over the course of the trial to demonstrate the long-term viability of safe standing at the Etihad Stadium.”

A study on the impact of the standing areas will be provided to the government so it can decide whether to implement the scheme more widely from the start of next season.
The head of the SGSA, Martyn Henderson, said “new engineering solutions” had shown the risks posed by standing can be managed safely.
He said: “We are taking a careful, evidence-based approach to this historic change, again using independent researchers to evaluate any lessons to be learnt.”

From Independant Radio News/SKY News for GTFM