Manchester United have started the process of introducing safe standing at Old Trafford after requesting permission to install rail seating with the hope of testing it before the end of the season arrives.
The Red Devils are said to have plans to implement 1,500 rail seats in order to ‘enhance spectator safety’ in areas of the Theatre of Dreams where fans regularly prefer to stand.
The Daily Mail report that United are awaiting a response from the Safety Advisory Group before proceeding with the plans, with the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 causing a ban to standing within grounds. However, standing is slowly making a comeback through safety barriers, most noticeably seen at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park.
Both Wolves, at the Molineux, and Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have already introduced safe standing, with both grounds having a good reputation for their atmosphere as of late. The atmosphere at Old Trafford has continued to worsen, most likely due to the dire performances and results, but the introduction of safe standing would be a huge step to restoring a worthy atmosphere.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have seven Premier League games left to play at home this season with their progress in the FA Cup and Europa League also adding the potential for more. Should the club receive a positive response from the SAG, some of those fixtures could trial safe standing.
In the Europa League, Club Brugge stand in the way from progressing to the Round of Sixteen and in the League Cup, a trip to Derby County to face former Red Wayne Rooney is in store.
United’s last home fixture of the league campaign is against David Moyes’ West Ham on the 9th May with a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City bringing the season to a close, hopefully with Champions League football having been secured.
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