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Rail seats coming to Oakwell: Standing revolution continues

Last week, Barnsley signalled their intention to introduce rail seats at their famous old Oakwell ground – becoming the latest EFL club to offer their supporters real choice.

The League One club has applied to the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) for a safe standing section in Oakwell’s south stand, following their first ever fan advisory group meeting.

Barnsley’s interim chief executive office Jon Flatman said: “Completion of the recently announced lease with Barnsley Council has accelerated plans to implement safe standing at Oakwell, the club have now submitted an application to the SGSA for rail seating (safe standing).

“There are several steps in the process including council support, Safety Advisory Group approval and it is subject to structural surveys, however we believe it will create a safer and better environment for fans.”

Progress across the EFL and Premier League

Clubs are now free to apply to the SGSA for licensed standing areas and Barnsley join a raft of clubs in the EFL and Premier League that have decided to press ahead with rail seating in their grounds since it was given Government approval in 2022.

Barnsley’s application for safe standing shows that choice is possible in even the oldest of grounds – Oakwell, built in 1888, proves that fitting rail seats retroactively isn’t just an option for modern grounds or new builds.

Clubs with similar older grounds, like Luton Town, have also been able to make the switch. The Hatters announced plans to introduce rail seats at Kenilworth Road in January and are aiming to have the standing option available in both home and away ends later this month.

They join the likes of Brentford, QPR, Wolves, Cardiff City, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur who have adopted rail seating in home and away ends.

Safe standing tracker

Stand United, a supporter campaign group pushing for safe standing at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, have produced a safe standing tracker showing all the EFL and Premier League clubs who opted to pursue a safe standing option at their grounds.

“Since Stand United launched, we have aimed to raise awareness of and support for rail seating and safe standing among Sheffield United fans, and to engage fans on their own preferences on how this might look at Bramall Lane,” they said.

“We have also engaged with existing fan groups such as Rainbow Blades and the Official Supporters Club as part of this process. At every stage, there has been a clear appetite for bringing safe standing in.”


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