Today the club have informed that their application to install 1,500 safe standing places has been approved by the council. The section should be implemented before fans return to Old Trafford.
Recent years have seen numerous alterations at Old Trafford. Part of them cover the additional required wheelchair positions, others are aimed at improving matchday atmosphere, like the extension of Stretford End's 'atmosphere section'.
Now one more change is on the horizon as the Trafford Council has approved the application to install safe standing at the stadium. Some 1,500 seats within railings will be installed in sections N2401 and N2402 (lower north-east corner).
“Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where – as with other clubs – we have seen examples of persistent standing. It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy. If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.” said managing director Richard Arnold.
While the decision comes at a difficult time, it's not Manchester United's primary concern at this point. It's simply the outcome of the bureaucratic route, started in early 2020 and following talks with supporters on the issue.
“This announcement is the latest step in what has been a long journey with our fans. We have listened to their feedback, in particular, the representations made by MUST, and worked with Trafford Council to develop and approve this proposal.” Arnold admits.
Manchester United haven't selected a specific technical solution for their safe standing area yet, but they're confident all changes will be made before supporters return to the stadium.