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Fans group raise spectre of Standing Areas at Premier League grounds as Manchester United set to look at idea

Manchester United are one of several Premier League clubs that also includes Aston Villa known to be considering looking into constructing a safe standing area at Old Trafford. The news was widely reported on Friday

The paper reports that the club are to look into introducing safe standing, after it was brought up during a fan's forum.

And United chief executive Ed Woodward, who was at the meeting, will investigate the possibility of it happening.

The Premier League champions have always been against the return of terracing at grounds, claiming that Old Trafford was not efficient for it.

However, at previous supporters meetings, the topic of how to improve the atmosphere at the ground has been brought up, and safe standing could increase noise at Old Trafford.

The 'Safe Standing' campaign has been running for a number of years.

Under current rules, all Premier League grounds must have all-seater stadiums.

The ban on terracing was introduced after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 people lost their lives after being crushed at Hillsborough's standing area.

The campaign for safe standing has grown in pace over the last few years, with Premier League teams such as Aston Villa, Hull City and Sunderland in favour of safe standing.

In June 2013, over two-thirds of all Football League clubs backed the campaign, and in 2011, the Scottish Premier League announced it was to relax all-seater stadiums and clubs would be allowed to impose safe standing areas in their grounds.

According to the Daily Mirror,

All-seater stadia became law for all clubs in the top two divisions following the introduction of the 1989 Football Spectators Act.

Legislation was brought in to ensure safety within grounds following a number of issues including the Hillsborough disaster when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

In recent years, though, there has been a growing clamour for the introduction of safe standing areas within grounds for fans that do not wish to remain seated throughout.

Safe standing areas have proved to be a great success in Germany, Sweden and Austria and the Football Supporters' Federation here has been running a campaigning for a number of years.

The FSF rejects any notion of a return to the terraces of the 1980's and claims the idea has the backing of clubs such as Aston Villa, Cardiff City and Sunderland, as well as a majority of clubs in the Championship, with their recent petition gaining almost 20,000 signatures. O.B



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