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Man United to install safe standing at Old Trafford

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Manchester United have been granted permission to begin a safe-standing trial at Old Trafford.

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The club have been given the go ahead by Trafford Council to build 1,500 barrier seats in the J-Stand, in the north east quadrant of the stadium.

United plan to have the work completed in time for the start of the 2020-21 campaign and if the trial is successful, the seats -- which allow for safe-standing -- could be rolled out in other areas of Old Trafford.

"It should be stated up front that our overwhelming priority is to keep our people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic," group managing director Richard Arnold said.

"It may seem strange to talk about stadium plans at this time, but football and our fans will return when it is safe, and our preparations for that must continue in the background.

"This announcement is the latest step in what has been a long journey with our fans. We have listened to their feedback, in particular the representations made by MUST, and worked with Trafford Council to develop and approve this proposal.

"Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where -- as with other clubs -- we have seen examples of persistent standing.

"It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy.

"We will now move on to develop the installation, compliance and licensing plan for the trial with a view to having the new seats installed for when we can welcome our supporters back to Old Trafford."

Wolves were the first Premier League team to introduce a safe standing section in January 2019. Tottenham and Celtic have also got sections of rail seating at their respective stadiums, as well as a number of Bundesliga clubs.

Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said in a statement: "We delighted that the club has been given the green light to proceed with a barrier seating trial at Old Trafford.

"This area works for the club logistically and it was also preferable due to being an area where fans now stand and therefore barrier seats should enhance safety."