Standing fans will return for this year’s Carabao Cup final between Man United and Newcastle… with new areas at Wembley set to end 35-year period without non-seated supporters in a domestic final
- Standing is set to return to Wembley Stadium for the first time in 35 years
- Supporters will be allowed to stand during this year’s Carabao Cup final
- Man United and Newcastle have been allocated 867 seats each in standing area
Standing is to return to Wembley Stadium for the first time in 35 years when Manchester United face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup Final.
Both clubs will receive 867 seats behind each goal within the new standing areas at the venue for the clash on 26 February.
The fixture will become the first major English domestic final at which standing has been permitted in more than three decades. The old Wembley was converted to an all-seater stadium in 1990.
Standing in seated areas – with rail seats used – have been allowed in the EFL and Premier League since the start of this season. Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff City are among those to introduce them.
The rail is designed to prevent those who choose to stand from falling forward.
Newcastle and Man United will be allocated 867 seats in the standing area at Wembley
It was announced in July that all clubs in the top two tiers of English football can apply to operate licensed safe standing areas this year.
WHAT ARE RAIL SEATS?
Rail seats are essentially seats with built-in safety barriers to allow safe standing.
Each metal seat is incorporated within a robust metal frame that forms a waist-high rail for the spectators in the row behind. These seat frames are installed on a permanent basis with the same spacing as standard seats. The frames interlock to form a continuous high-strength rail along the full length of each row.
The seats can be locked to allow for standing fans between rows of the waist-high rails.
They are widely used across Europe with almost half of clubs in the Bundesliga using rail seats, including Borussia Dortmund.
In July 2016, Celtic formally unveiled their new 2,600 capacity rail seating area within Celtic Park, becoming the first British club to do so.
Cardiff, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham took part in a safe standing pilot in the second half of last season and Brentford, QPR and Wolves joined those clubs in offering designated areas for home and away fans from the start of the 2022-23 season.
UEFA also confirmed last year that English fans were allowed to stand at matches during its men’s club competitions throughout the 2022-23 season.
European football’s governing body launched a programme to observe the use of standing facilities which are already in operation in England, France and Germany.
‘While UEFA regulations only permit seated places to be used for its competitions, except for those competitions where Category 1 stadiums may be used, an increasing trend towards the use of standing facilities in some domestic competitions has been observed in recent years,’ UEFA said in launching the Standing Facilities Observer Programme 2022-23.
‘Football supporters across Europe as well as clubs who regularly use standing facilities at domestic level have expressed increasing interest for UEFA to consider standing facilities at European matches.
‘The objective is to assess if and under what conditions standing may be reintroduced in UEFA competitions in a safe manner.’
The programme will be carried out during the group stage and knockout phases of this season’s men’s European club competitions, up to and including the semi-finals. The finals are excluded.
Manchester United took part in a safe standing pilot test in the second-half of last season
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston had said in May he was ‘minded’ to offer the option to all Premier League and Championship clubs on the back of interim findings from independent research on the pilot.
The pilot marked the end of a blanket ban on standing in the top two tiers of English football which had been in place for more than 25 years, with those clubs having been required to provide all-seated accommodation since August 1994 in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, where 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives.
The report on safe standing, compiled by CFE Research, acknowledged the rise in anti-social behaviour and disorder at football matches during last season but said this was not attributable to the introduction of safe standing areas.
The report found the barriers also help to protect against progressive crowd collapse, where supporters surge forward and push into people in the rows in front, creating a domino effect.
Many fans have been lobbying for safe-standing to be introduced for years in the top-flight
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