A re-emergence of standing terraces has been proposed by the Premier League following a fan survey that found all but one club wanted to go back to the old style. The Chelsea vs Liverpool game will mark an end to seats in English football stadiums for this season, with both sides keen on returning to action as soon as possible
English Premier League club to inaugurate a new section of seating at Stamford Bridge.The “premier league table” will be used to mark the return of standing at football stadiums. The move comes after a near 30-year ban on standing in England and Wales.
During the summer, Manchester United built 1,519 barrier seats at Old Trafford.
After almost 30 years, Chelsea’s Premier League match versus Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 2 will mark the return of standing to the English top flight.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea have all had their bids to be part of a safe standing trial granted, as has Championship side Cardiff.
All-seater stadiums have been required by law in the first and second divisions of the English football pyramid since 1994.
“I’m glad to accept these five teams as early adopters of approved safe standing zones for the second part of the season,” Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, said.
“The moment has come to put safe standing to the test in the Premier League and the EFL Championship before making a decision on a wider roll-out.”
“Safety is of the utmost importance, and the SGSA [Sports Grounds Safety Authority] is working closely with the clubs on this.”
“Fans deserve a variety of ways to enjoy a live match, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the development of these experiments.”
Following the Taylor Report on the 1989 Hillsborough catastrophe, which claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool supporters, standing in English football’s top two divisions was ruled illegal.
Standing has been reinstated in recent seasons, according to activists. Seating that can be changed to standing areas, such as barrier or rail seating, has been designed.
Celtic became the first British club to introduce a rail seating section in 2016. Scotland was exempt from the regulation prohibiting standing portions in the top two levels of English football, although its top flight had mandated all-seater stadiums from 1998 until it was eased in 2011.
The SGSA, the organization in charge of ground safety, issued revised recommendations in 2018 that enabled the use of rail seats.
In their 2019 general election platform, the Conservatives pledged to work toward the implementation of safe standing spaces, and if the first trials are successful, legislation may be enacted for all stadiums in England’s top two divisions over the next several years.
The experiment will be monitored by the independent business CFE Research, and the results will be presented to the government for consideration in making a decision on whether or not to expand the use of safe standing for the next season.
Rail seating has been built at the grounds of Premier League teams Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wolves.
Club selection criteria
Before their application for standing zones was accepted, clubs had to fulfill the following criteria:
- Seats with barriers/independent barriers were to be installed by January 1, 2022, in both the home and away sections.
- The chairs cannot be locked in either the ‘up’ or ‘down’ positions, giving supporters the choice of sitting (for example, during breaks in play).
- Each individual must have their own seat or place.
- The viewing standards of other spectators, particularly handicapped viewers, shall not be impacted by the approved standing sections.
- A rule of behavior for fans in the licensed standing area must be in place.
- To guarantee that only appropriate ticketholders are allowed to the licensed standing areas, employees and stewards must be briefed and trained.
- CCTV must be installed and provide complete coverage of the permitted standing areas.
- Plans for the permitted standing places must be discussed with the ground’s safety advisory committee.
After being authorized as an early adopter of the standing areas, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy stated the club was “delighted.”
“We are quite pleased of our’safe seating’ design, which assures both comfort and safety, whether standing or sitting, while preserving the same aesthetics as the rest of the stadium,” Levy stated.
“This development may offer alternatives and promote safety for supporters in locations where continuous standing has previously occurred,” Manchester United stated.
The “sky sports” is the best way to watch Chelsea v Liverpool on Saturday. The match will be a return of standing after nearly 3 decades.
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