The campaign to return standing areas to the Barclays Premier League stadia has received a boost with Manchester United reportedly agreeing to investigate the viability of introducing a safe-standing area at Old Trafford, reports Soccerex Business Daily.
The Independent newspaper said the Premier League champion’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, “expressed a willingness” to explore the idea at a recent fans’ forum. United has previously rejected the idea on the grounds that Old Trafford is not equipped for it and legislation would be needed to make it possible.
The development comes as United prepares to further trial a ‘singing section’ at its ground for the UEFA Champions League game against Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
Duncan Drasdo, Manchester United Supporter’s Trust chief executive, told the Manchester Evening News: “I know people are very sceptical but I’ve not seen momentum like this campaign has picked up, for a long time. I also think it’s interesting the new chief executive has come in and said he is willing to look at something which has been rejected by his predecessors.
“We have been over to (Borussia) Dortmund to see how they do it and we can’t help but be jealous as it does create tremendous atmosphere. People want to be able to move around and congregate with their mates. And safe standing is actually a lot safer than standing in seated areas, which a lot of people do at the moment.”
Standing at matches in the top two divisions of English football has been banned since the introduction of the Football Spectators Act 1989, which was brought in following the Hillsborough disaster.
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