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Gov’t to support expansion of licensed standing areas next season

The sports minister today announced that the Government is “minded to support the wider roll-out of licensed standing areas” for the start of next season.

Since January, five clubs – Cardiff City, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – have been operating licensed standing areas in designated rail-seated and seated sections for home and away fans, as the Government works towards fulfilling its manifesto commitment on standing legislation.

And today sports minister Nigel Huddleston said that number would expand with a wider roll-out of licensed standing that would allow Premier League and Championship clubs who have met strict conditions to introduce standing areas from the start of the 2022-23 season.

Huddleston’s statement to Parliament today explained that the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s (SGSA) report into the early-adopters shows many benefits to standing sections and the positive safety impact. Read more about that initial report here.

“The Government’s approach has been driven by safety considerations throughout and this will continue to be our priority,” he said. “We are not complacent about spectator safety, nor are we complacent about the safety policies that have served spectators well for many years.

“We will continue to work closely with the SGSA, football clubs, the football governing bodies and local authorities to ensure that spectator safety remains paramount.”

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