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Manchester City FC to install rail seats as standing area

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Manchester City FC are to install 5,620 rail seats at the Etihad Stadium this summer.

The Premier League club will then be in position to introduce safe standing should any change in UK law occur.

The work will take place prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, meaning there will be no disruption for supporters.

The supporters would by then expect to be able to return to games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rail seats can be folded away and locked in position to create a safe standing area with barriers.

City believe introducing them now will enhance safety in an area already affected by persistent standing on match days.

The work will take place in the lower tier of the South Stand behind one of the goals.

Danny Wilson, managing director of the club’s operations, said the installation “will not only improve supporter safety but also ensures the match day experience of supporters.

He said it would also improve match day experience of season card holders in the lower tier of the South Stand as it would remain unaffected.

Standing was banned at matches in the top-flight in England following the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

There are growing calls for standing to be allowed using the rail seat system but there has been no indication when this might happen.

Tottenham and Wolves have already installed sections of rail seating while several Bundesliga clubs have them as standing is allowed at German domestic games.

Joseph Edeh

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