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Old 7th September 2017, 12:37   #1
TanyaT
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Default Manchester United stance on safe standing at Old Trafford

Manchester United stance on safe standing at Old Trafford

Man Utd have been looking at Celtic's safe standing pilot in Glasgow

By Stuart Mathieson
MEN 5 September 2017


Manchester United are warming to the idea of introducing safe standing at Old Trafford if and when Government legislation allows the introduction of rail seats in the Premier League.

Celtic have pioneered the seating in Scotland and last season installed 3,000 rail seats, at Celtic Park.

The rail seats have been in use widely in Germany's Bundesliga for years but it has been resisted in England.

Governments have not softened on the issue since Lord Justice Taylor's report following the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in a crush at the FA Cup semi final.

In response to Lord Taylor's report the Football Spectators Act was introduced banning standing in England's top two divisions.

But there has been a groundswell of support for the all seater stadium rule to be lifted.

Celtic's initiative in Scotland has been championed. The rail seating whereby a seat can put raised to provided standing behind individual rails has been welcomed in England.

United have been among the clubs who've looked at the possibility.

The standing debate was raised at the Soccerex 2017 convention in Manchester this week.

Robin Buchanan, Celtic stadium manager, who spoke at the convention, told MEN Sport.

“United's delegation were all very positive. There was nothing negative from United in their responses to it. They have been up a couple of times. If the fans are wanting it the rail seats is an ideal solution.

“They have to see how it fits into their stadium. You have to weigh up what works for you and what doesn't. The way Old Trafford is designed it might take a while but if they want it they could do it. It is all about picking the right section for you to install it.”

United have been considering which area of Old Trafford would best suit the introduction of the seats if new legislation was eventually passed.

Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have been at the forefront of discussions to enable United's support to have the choice again whether they can stand or not.

MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo says, “There shouldn't be any obstacles or objections about rail seats. As a first step it is obvious. It is the sensible way forward.

“It is inevitably moving in the direction of safe standing. Maybe in a couple of years it will be happening all over.

“I would like to see United trial it at Old Trafford certainly.”

Ken Scott Sports Grounds Safety Authority Chief Executive said, “We have now seen the advance of a product (rail seats) that wasn't around in 1989 and had it been available then who knows what the recommendations of Lord Justice Taylor have been.

“As Government advisers I return to the baseline, whilst they are very interested in the Celtic pilot and model they are not persuaded at this time to changing their policy in terms of standing.

“We are scheduled to meet with Government and the sports minister towards the end of his year where we will be discussing a whole range of things including the report I did on the Celtic project and looking at the way forward.


http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....fford-13574777
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