Safe standing to be permitted...


Safe standing to be permitted at four Premier League grounds

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Standing areas will be allowed in five club grounds in England from January of next year.

Four Premier League club - Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - have successfully applied to have standing in their respective stadiums.

Cardiff will also have 'safe standing'.

It is the first time standing will be allowed at football matches in the UK in nearly 30 years.

It follows on from the all-seater policy which was implemented following the Lord Taylor report into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

A statement today from the UK's Sports Department said: "Today’s historic announcement is a vital step towards fulfilling the Government’s manifesto commitment to introducing licensed safe standing areas at all-seater football grounds.

"The grounds have been selected following an application process, open to all grounds covered by the all-seater policy, led by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA)."

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston welcomed the news.

“I’m pleased to approve these five clubs as early adopters of licensed safe standing areas for the second half of the season.

"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.

"Safety is absolutely paramount and the SGSA is working hand-in-glove with the clubs on this. Fans deserve different options on how they can enjoy a live match and I will be watching the progress of these trials with interest.”

Chief Executive of the SGSA Martyn Henderson added: “The focus of the SGSA is the safety of all fans at sports grounds.  We know there is a safety risk arising from fans who persistently stand in seated areas, demonstrated in independent research.

"We also know many fans want the choice to stand.  The advent of new engineering solutions and the findings from our research has shown this can be managed safely.

"Today’s announcement will enable us to properly test and evaluate licensed standing areas and advise the Government in its next steps.

"We are taking a careful, evidence-based approach to this historic change, again using independent researchers to evaluate any lessons to be learnt.”

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