April 29, 2020 / 2:44 PM / a month ago

Manchester United to install 1,500 barrier seats to allow fans to stand next season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Manchester United v Club Brugge - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - February 27, 2020 General view inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Manchester United have received approval to install 1,500 barriers at Old Trafford next season which will allow supporters to safely stand, the Premier League side said on Wednesday.

The club submitted their proposal to Trafford Council last year and the seats — which come with a rail for fans to lean on when they stand — will be installed in the north-east quadrant of the stadium.

Standing at grounds in the top two tiers is banned but clubs have looked to find a middle ground, with Wolverhampton Wanderers installing rail seats at their Molineux stadium last year.

“United will now discuss installation options with potential suppliers, working within current UK government recommendations relating to construction site operating procedures and social distancing,” the club said in a statement.

The club’s managing director Richard Arnold said the seats would improve spectator safety in areas where fans are prone to standing more often during games.

“It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy,” Arnold said.

“If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.”

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust said they were delighted that the club was given the go-ahead after campaigning for several years to make it a reality.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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