The government is set to finally relax the draconian rules that have prevented fans from standing at Premier League games since 1994-95, when the all-seater requirements were first established.

Standing in English football's top two divisions was outlawed following recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Clubs are being invited to join an initial pilot scheme under the auspices of the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), who have allowed the installation of rail seating since 2018.

The SGSA said the announcement of the pilot scheme "starts the legal process needed for clubs to offer licensed standing areas from 1 January".

Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves have all had rail seating installed at their grounds.

"We know many fans want the choice to stand and, with the advent of new engineering solutions, our research has shown how this can be managed safely," said SGSA chief executive Martyn Henderson.

"This announcement will enable us to properly test and evaluate licensed standing areas before the government decides its next steps."


Reader Comments (7)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:57:32
I had no idea rail seating had already been installed by all these clubs. The numbers of seats involved are pretty substantial. I'll see if I can find where I saw them listed...
John Raftery
2 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:06:00
I knew Spurs had put them in when they built the new stadium. I read recently that Wolves and Man United had done so. I thought Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City only had plans to do. I would expect Everton to go ahead with installing them at Bramley-Moore but not at Goodison for the remaining three or four years we are there.
Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:15:41
Finally, we can move beyond measures that were brought in as part of the narrative that Hillsborough was the fault of the supporters. Football supporters are such a danger to themselves that they can't even be trusted to stand on their own two feet!
Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:40:51
If it's anything like what I've seen in Germany, you have a seat anyway, but can stand, there's just a barrier (old speak) or rail, as described above, in front of you. So its not terracing as we knew it. No surge or swaying. No tying your younger brother to the "ledge" on the lower Gwladys so he can actually see the match!

To be honest, the 2 away games I've been to so far this season, everyone was stood up through the entire match anyway, so I didn't use the seat.

Dennis, maybe they might even trust us to take a beer back to our own seats and treat us as grown ups. At Schalke I can carry a 4-pack take away in one of those McDonalds style drink carriers. And if I run out, go back to get a refill as they serve throughout the match, not just the 15 minute half time rush.

Sorry, sore point of mine! I'll move on. I'll get over it.

Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:49:31
Hold your horses there, Danny - don't try to run before your allowed to walk, er, I mean stand!
Derek Turnbull
6 Posted 23/09/2021 at 22:59:49
Why not put it in for a couple of hundred fans in one of the corners of either the Gwladys Street or Park End?
Jay Tee
7 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:08:00
Totally against this move. Not everyone is 6ft-6in tall and at least seats allow the smaller of us to still see the game. No problem with standing up when something happens or it's getting exciting. Someone needs to stand up (no pun intended) for those who want to remain seated.

I would like to see them be able to serve us drinks and snacks directly to the seats. Perhaps they could make a bit more money then serving food and drink the whole game rather than in the 15-minute break.


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