Manchester City will be one of the first Premier League clubs to trail new ‘safe standing’ after their application was approved.
The blues will be one of five top-flight clubs to adopt a standing area, which will see a return to fans on their feet since 1994, when the old Kippax Street stand was demolished and replaced by a three-tier stand.
Football stadiums in UK were required by law to become all-seater following the Taylor Report, produced in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. The last time City fans stood at a match was 1994 when Chelsea were the visitors on the final day of the season. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
The new standing area will be located in the South Stand of the Etihad Stadium and will consist of rail seating offering fans the chance to stand or sit during the match.
“We are delighted that Manchester City’s application to become an early adopter of licensed standing has been approved,” Danny Wilson, City’s Operations Managing Director said. “Our fans have consistently voiced their support for the introduction of safe standing, and we are pleased that we will be able to fully utilise our rail seating installation from January through to the end of the season. As always, safety is our main priority, and we look forward to working closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority over the course of the trial to demonstrate the long-term viability of safe standing at the Etihad Stadium.”
The trial will begin in January, and City’s first Premier League game with the new standing licence will be against Chelsea on 15th January. The trial will conclude at the end of the season and will be continually monitored until then.