By 90Min
April 09, 2018

West Bromwich Albion have seen their request to the government to introduce safe standing to the Hawthorns next season rejected, the BBC reports.

Their proposal involved the conversion of 3,600 seats in the Smethwick End to 'rail seats', which can be locked in an upright position using the same system employed by Celtic and Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

However, the current all-seater stadium law - which was introduced following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and the consequent recommendations made by the Taylor report - is not to be altered anytime in the near future.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch has confirmed this, despite West Brom saying their request had been based on safety concerns due to persistent standing.

West Brom's director of operations Mark Miles has since expressed his disappointment at the government's decision.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

"I think the minister has taken a very short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters," said Miles in the BBC report.

"The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now.

"We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety. But I have become convinced that rail seating would enhance safety."

Miles also confirmed the club will not accept the government's decision lightly, adding: "The club is extremely disappointed with this decision and we have written back requesting a review"

The news comes as a significant blow to West Brom off the pitch to add to their growing disappointments on it, with the club currently rock bottom of the Premier League and without a permanent manager.

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