Wolves have announced that they are to become the first Premier League clubs to pilot seating options that could be used for 'safe-standing' in the future, in preparation for government legislation changes that could lift the ban on standing areas in the top two tiers of English football.
Premier League and Championship clubs have had to maintain strictly all-seater stadiums since 1994, as standing areas have since been banned as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.
In recent years, however, supporters have lobbied the FA and other organisations to change that, with most believing that modern technology and safety standards render the ban redundant - and the changes Wolves have announced to the seating in the Billy Wright stand could serve as another step towards change being implemented.
“As a club we are keen to be at the forefront of innovation and progression, so the opportunity to install these examples of potential safe-standing solutions was one that we were very happy to explore," said Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple, via the club's official website.
“Whilst the seats themselves will not be operational or used at matches, we are now able to give our Fan’s Parliament group and local authority the opportunity to view all the options before some of these solutions become commonplace in UK stadiums."
Safe-standing campaigner Jon Darch added: “It is fitting that Molineux should be the first operational stadium in the Premier League to install rail-seating as it was the first ground I took the Safe Standing Roadshow to in 2011, for a presentation to the Fans’ Parliament.
“We anticipate that in the future Safety Advisory Groups will be looking closely at clubs with areas of persistent standing, and will most likely encourage them to enhance spectator safety in those areas by installing rail seats like those now on show at Molineux."