Liverpool partial rail seating trial over



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Liverpool FC to apply for safe standing Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Premier League team Liverpool F.C. has confirmed that it has completed its rail seating trial for some sections of its residence – the Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England (UK) – and will continue with the phased installation program on an ongoing basis.

‘EXPLORE LIVERPOOL’ stated that at the end of the trial period, the club reviewed the effectiveness of rail seating in terms of fan safety and, as a result of its findings, will apply for a Safe Standing Licence.

The Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club based in Liverpool, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played its home games at Anfield since its formation.

The Anfield is a football stadium in Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England (UK), which has a seating capacity of 53,394, making it the seventh largest football stadium in England. It has been the home of Liverpool since their formation in 1892.

‘EXPLORE LIVERPOOL’ further stated that according to the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s (SGSA) most recent enforcement recommendations, stadiums with rail seating for more than two years must apply for a Safe Standing License.

London (UK)-based the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is a non-Departmental public body in the United Kingdom funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Until 2011, it was known as the Football Licensing Authority, having been set up under the Football Spectators Act 1989. The SGSA was established through the Sports Grounds Safety Authority Act 2011, which received royal assent in July 2011 and started functioning on November 1st, 2011.

The aim of the SGSA is to ensure that all spectators regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, disability, or the team that they support are able to attend sports grounds in safety, comfort and security.

From the next season, safe standing areas will be installed across all rail seating sections on the Kop and in the lower Anfield Road Stand. Fans will be allowed to stand in these safe standing areas throughout matches, not just during significant moments such as goal celebrations.

The safe standing areas are licensed by the SGSA, and fans must be able to sit or stand, the seats cannot be locked in the ‘up’ or ‘down’ position. There must also be one seat or space per person, and licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards of other fans, including the disabled supporters.

Staff and stewards will be briefed and trained to ensure that only relevant ticket holders are admitted to the licensed standing areas, and the CCTV will provide full coverage of the licensed standing areas.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Manchester City F.C., Manchester United F.C., Brentford F.C., and the Chelsea F.C. are the other Premier League clubs that have applied for and been granted a Safe Standing Licence.

Following a safety review by the SGSA, rail seating was first introduced in two areas of Anfield Stadium during the 2020-2021 closed seasons. The initial trial included 7,800 rail seats installed on the Top and the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand. A second phase included an additional 2,500 rail seats installed on the Kop during last season’s Winter Word Cup (Qatar 2022) break.

The next phase of installation will take place this Summer, when a total of 3,000 rail seats will be installed on the Kop in the remaining blocks 202-208 up to row 33.

This will bring the total to 7,425 rail seats on the Kop, just over 55 percent of the stand capacity. The Liverpool F.C. plans to extend rail seating on the Kop next year to Blocks 102-108, up to row 13.

The club have confirmed any season ticket holders whose seats are affected by these changes will be contacted directly to explain the changes in due course.

The club has consulted with its Supporters’ Board about permanently extending railed seating and applying for a Safe Standing Licence.

Said Andy Hughes, Managing Director, Liverpool Football Club, “Following an extensive review of our rail seating trial we’re delighted to confirm it has been successful and is now a permanent feature at the Anfield Stadium. We also examined how effective rail seating is in terms of the health and safety of our fans, and we came to the conclusion that the management of rail seating areas would benefit from the safe standing areas. So, that’s why we have taken the decision to apply for a Safe Standing Licence, which will see the introduction of safe standing areas across all stadium sections with rail seating from the next season. The health and safety of our supporters when attending matches at Anfield is, and always will be, paramount.”

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