The Premier League has confirmed that fans will be allowed to stand in safe standing areas, as part of a pilot scheme to reintroduce the practice.
The Athletic is reporting that the Sports Ground Safety Authority, or SGSA, will invite clubs from the Premier League and Championship to trial the scheme from January.
To participate, clubs will need to confirm their interest by October 6 and will be identified as part of the ‘early adopter’ programme.
The participating clubs will be the first to host standing are in the Premier League since the blanket ban that was implemented on standing areas 25 years ago.
The ban was put in place as part of a recommendation from the infamous Taylor Report, which was commissioned following the events of Hillsborough in April 1989, when 97 Liverpool fans were killed.
Clubs who wish to become early adopters will need to meet certain criteria in order to be allowed to trial the seats for the remainder of the season.
The five criteria include:
- Having the necessary infrastructure in place.
- Fans being able to be flexible in choosing to sit or stand, with the seats not locked in either the up or down positions.
- The areas must not diminish the viewing quality of other fans
- An appropriate code of conduct for fans in the areas.
- Each club must first consult its safety advisory group for the standing zones.
Some clubs already what are known as rail seats.
Manchester United and City both have sections of rail seats in their grounds, with 1,500 and 5,620 respectively.
London clubs Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also have some spread throughout their respective stadiums.
Rail seats are also in use at Liverpool and Wolves.
Celtic have had safe standing areas in their stadium since 2016, and this likely formed a big part of the SGSA and Government’s decision to allow it to come back.