United's safe-standing application is approved

Monday 08 November 2021 10:30

We can confirm that the Sports Ground Safety Authority has approved Manchester United's application for safe-standing trials at Old Trafford in 2022.

One of the conditions of the trial is that there are designated safe-standing areas in both the home and away sections inside the Theatre of Dreams. 

The club had 1,519 barrier seats installed in the North East quadrant during the summer and around 500 more will be added to the away section, with work set to be completed in late December. 

United are also committed to reviewing other areas of the ground that may be suitable for barrier seats.

We are one of five clubs whose applications for safe-standing trials have been approved, along with Cardiff City, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

The club had 1,519 barrier seats installed in the North East quadrant during the summer.

Collette Roche, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted that Old Trafford will be among the first stadiums in England where safe standing will be trialled from January. This follows the successful installation of barrier seating in the north-east quadrant and we will now follow SGSA guidelines that mandate some barrier seating in the away section.

“While the majority of the stadium will remain seated, we firmly believe safe standing can create choice and increase safety for fans in areas where persistent standing has historically occurred, and we’ll continue to review the potential to install it in other appropriate parts of the ground.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “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.”

Martyn Henderson, Chief Executive of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, said: “The introduction of licensed standing areas in all-seater grounds is an historic change.  I am pleased that Manchester United FC will be one of the pioneers of this. Today’s announcement will enable us to properly test and evaluate licensed standing areas and advise the Government in its next steps.”