Manchester United have requested permission to introduce safe standing at Old Trafford – and it could be in place before the end of the season.
Back in September, United launched a consultation over introducing rail seating, which allows people to stand against a barrier, at their stadium.
Now United have lodged a request with the local authority to bring in 1,500 rail seats in Old Trafford’s North East Quadrant,.
United believe the seats will ‘enhance spectator safety’ in areas of the stadium where there is persistent standing.
United are awaiting a response from the Safety Advisory Group — a partnership between the local authority and other bodies including the police and fire service — over whether they will get the go-ahead.
A trial could take place before the end of this season, depending on how quickly the club receives a response.
A recent change to stadium safety regulations means clubs can now install seats incorporating safety barriers at their grounds.
Standing was outlawed in the top two divisions of English football following the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster in which 96 Liverpool supporters died during an FA Cup semi-final.
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The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is conducting a season-long study on the safety risks of standing in stadiums.
The findings of an interim report on the study reveal that the installation of barriers in seated areas at football grounds such as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Molineux has “mitigated the risk of crowd collapse”.
United have long supported the idea of safe standing, and the Government is keen to deliver its manifesto pledge of overseeing its introduction.