It was announced earlier this week that from January 1st, football clubs in the Premier League and EFL Championship would be able offer standing areas for supporters.
According to the Manchester Evening News, both Manchester City and Manchester United are "likely" to be part of the planned pilot scheme, with the 5,620 rail seats having been installed at the Etihad Stadium in anticipation of such announcement.
Standing in Premier League and Championship grounds was prohibited in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, however following a manifesto pledge by the Conservative Party in 2019, the Sports Ground Safety Authority have announced plans to bring back standing in football stadia.
Asked for his opinion on Wednesday's announcement, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said, "One is the safety for all of us, the fans. I don't have any clear opinion. I thought they went to seats because before was dangerous. If the authorities go to stand, it's because it's safe. I don't have an opinion."
Should Manchester City apply to become part of the planned trial, then they would be known as "early adopters," and would be able to offer safe standing at the Etihad Stadium for the second-half of the season.
Speaking earlier this week about the planned reintroduction of standing in Premier League stadiums, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said, "We have been clear that we will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing at football grounds providing there was evidence that installing seating with barriers would have a positive impact on crowd safety."
The Chief Executive of the SGSA said, "We know many fans want the choice to stand and, with the advent of new engineering solutions, our research has shown how this can be managed safely. "This announcement will enable us to properly test and evaluate licensed standing areas before the government decides its next steps."
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