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Government to move quickly on all-seater reform

This week the Government has confirmed that it will be implementing its manifesto commitment to reform the all-seater legislation covering the Championship and Premier League.

Sports minister Nigel Adams said the Government is “keen to deliver” its pledge on allowing standing sections to be introduced in the top two divisions.

The Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) has been tasked by the Government to produce a new report ahead of any legislation coming to Parliament.

SGSA inspectors will be visiting several grounds over the course of the season and report back to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with their findings.

“We want to deliver on our promise in the manifesto,” Adams told the Daily Mail today.

“I am looking forward to having the SGSA interim report and once I get that report, we will be able to consider the evidence.

“We need to be guided by the evidence and be mindful of everyone; the fans, the Hillsborough families. Clearly, the most important thing is the safety of fans and people at grounds.”

The SGSA’s work follows on from a Government report published back in October that said more research into standing was needed.

This summer Wolverhampton Wanderers installed more than 5,000 rail seats in the south stand at Molineux, becoming the first Premier League club to retrofit rail-seating type accommodation into an existing stand. Tottenham Hotspur also installed seats with barriers at their new stadium last season.

The FSA hopes that the opportunity to observe such a large installation of rail seats at the highest level of the game provides data that can accelerate reform of the all-seater legislation.

Adams said: “I will take a decision when we have managed to analyse what the SGSA has said, but we are very keen to deliver on it.

“We need to consider the report but we will act on it quickly.”

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