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05th Jul 2022

Safe standing areas can be introduced in Premier League from 2022/23 season

Daniel Brown

Brentford, QPR and Wolves will be the next clubs to offer licensed standing

Premier League and Championship clubs will be permitted to introduce safe standing areas from the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

Five clubs took part in a government-commissioned ‘early adopters’ pilot study during the second half of 2021-22, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City all implementing safe standing in their stadiums. 

Top-flight sides Brentford and Wolves, as well as QPR, will also offer licensed standing in designated seated areas for home and away supporters – with other clubs expected to follow suit. 

Wembley Stadium will offer a small licensed standing area for fans at domestic matches later in the season. 

The stadiums were selected following an application process.

The grounds were selected following an application process, with strict conditions needing to be met. For example, the enhanced use of CCTV, improved steward training and fans being strictly limited to ‘one person, one space’.

The necessary legislative amendments to the Football Spectators Act were tabled in Parliament on Monday.

“Thanks to a robust trial, thorough evidence and modern engineering, we are now ready to allow standing once again in our grounds,” said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

“We are not reintroducing terraces and only clubs which meet strict safety criteria will be permitted.”

“Based upon what I have experienced and we have learnt through the pilot programme, safe standing is set to deliver an electric atmosphere at our football stadiums,” added Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston on Monday.

“Fans have long campaigned for its introduction and we have worked carefully with supporters’ groups, including the families affected by the tragic Hillsborough disaster.”

Report finds safe standing had “a positive impact on spectator safety”

In April, an interim report by CFE Research, commissioned by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), stated that safe standing had “a positive impact on spectator safety” and improved the matchday experience for fans. 

Last season, Chelsea’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 2 became the first top-flight match in almost 30 years to allow licensed standing.