M.U.S.T response to confirmation that Manchester United has submitted a proposal for a rail seat trial at Old Trafford

MUST Rail seat demonstration for journalists at Bayer 04 Leverkusen
MUST Rail seat demonstration for fans & journalists at Bayer 04 Leverkusen - photo credit Jon Darch @safestandingRS

We welcome the news, published in the minutes of the Manchester United Fans’ Forum this morning, that a proposal has been submitted to the local council Safety Advisory Group to request an initial small trial of up to 1500 seats in the North East Quadrant of Old Trafford. We hope to see this progress as quickly as possible as we have long argued that rail seats are a safety enhancement as well as popular with many fans whether they prefer to stand or indeed prefer to remain seated throughout the game in other areas with an unobstructed view.

The North East Quadrant (lower) was selected initially as it has been an area where persistent standing has been established dating back over more than 6 years. Furthermore a corner location was deemed most likely to avoid objections from safety authorities as it does not suffer from the sight line issues created for seated supporters in adjacent sections who would be required to stand at points during the game in order to retain an unobstructed view of play in all areas of the pitch.

M.U.S.T has been leading the campaign for safe standing in UK stadia for more than 20 years along with colleagues at other club fan groups and coordinated by the Football Supporters Association (FSA). We were told many times over the years that we were wasting our time and it would never happen. Finally we can see the end is in sight - a lesson for supporters organisations that determination and persistence pays in the end.

If/when confirmed by the council we will be working with the club to ensure a successful trial. Our hope would be to then see it rolled out to other areas of the stadium where demand dictates as soon as possible. Existing season ticket holders in the section will be given priority to participate in the trial. While it is true, as always, that the Club makes the ultimate decisions on these matters (including trial location and who is allowed to participate) we have continuously lobbied the club on this issue in meetings over the last 6 years, including facilitating demonstrations of the technology for board directors and journalists at Old Trafford and Wolfsburg, prior to our match there. We continue to work with the club and are happy to act as a conduit for supporter views. Any season ticket holders in other sections of the stadium who are interested in more information or participating in the trial are welcome to contact M.U.S.T through our website or register as a free lite member to receive updates.

M.U.S.T - the Manchester United Supporters Trust
Twitter: @MU_ST


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