Clubs within the Premier League and Championship will be capable of provide licensed standing areas of their stadiums from January 1 subsequent yr as a part of a pilot programme.
The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) set out the plans in an announcement on Wednesday.
The introduction of designated secure standing areas would imply an finish to the blanket ban on standing within the prime two divisions of English soccer which has been in place for over 25 years.
Clubs should apply to be a part of the ‘early adopter’ programme by October 6 and, if authorized, will be capable of function a licensed standing space from New Year’s Day till the tip of the season.
The SGSA mentioned the challenge could be independently evaluated, with all different areas of the stadia remaining all-seater.
Standing areas in what’s now the Premier League and Championship have been outlawed by laws handed within the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough catastrophe, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool followers.
The introduction of the licensed standing areas follows a dedication by the federal government in its 2019 normal election manifesto, and it’s a transfer that has cross-party assist.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston mentioned: “We have been clear that we will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing at football grounds providing there was evidence that installing seating with barriers would have a positive impact on crowd safety.
“With impartial analysis now full, and capability crowds again at grounds throughout the nation, now could be the suitable time to make progress. I sit up for listening to from golf equipment who want to be a part of our early adopters programme in the course of the second half of this season.”
Clubs must meet a range of criteria in order to gain approval.
These include having the necessary infrastructure in both home and away areas of their stadium, allowing fans to sit or stand in the standing areas with the seats not locked in the ‘up’ or ‘down’ position, ensuring the areas do not impact on the view for other fans, including those with disabilities, providing a code of conduct for standing fans and consulting with the relevant Safety Advisory Group.
SGSA chief executive Martyn Henderson said: “The focus of the SGSA is the security and delight of all followers at sports activities grounds.
“We know many fans want the choice to stand and, with the advent of new engineering solutions, our research has shown how this can be managed safely.
“Today’s announcement will allow us to correctly take a look at and consider licensed standing areas earlier than the federal government decides its subsequent steps.”
The transfer comes after analysis carried out in the course of the 2019-20 season, earlier than the coronavirus pandemic started, which discovered that seats with obstacles or impartial obstacles helped scale back the security threat of persistent standing.
The announcement impacts golf equipment topic to the federal government’s all-seater coverage.
That consists of golf equipment within the Premier League and Championship, or any membership who’ve been in both of these divisions for 3 or extra seasons since 1994-95, plus Wembley Stadium and the Principality Stadium.