Wolves to trial safe-standing at Molineux
Wolves have become one of the first clubs in the Premier League to pilot safe standing – should the government change legislation regarding all-seater stadiums.
Managing director Laurie Dalrymple has previously confirmed the club are interested in installing safe-standing at the ground if any pilot scheme is launched.
Albion have previously had a proposal rejected to introduce a standing area in the Smethwick End.
What's your view? Vote here:
But now Wolves have installed three different types of rail-seats in a currently unused block of the Billy Wright Stand.
Current government policy prevents any form of standing area in the top two tiers of English football. But Shrewsbury have installed a safe-standing area in League One with success.
And Wolves now want to be at the front of the queue if the government changes its all-seater policy for the top two divisions.
Dalrymple said: “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.
“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.
“We are now actively working on plans regarding the development and expansion of Molineux in line with the club’s ambitions on and off the pitch, and we see this as another example of how we plan to meet supporters’ expectations and desires as we deliver a stadium that meets all of our requirements.”
Safe-standing campaigner Jon Darch said: “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.
“I also anticipate that in time legislation will change to allow clubs to operate areas fitted with such seating as formal standing areas. That could potentially happen this year.”