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Safe standing: West Bromwich Albion have proposal rejected by government

Safe standing: West Bromwich Albion have proposal rejected by government

West Brom have had a proposal to introduce safe standing at The Hawthorns rejected by the government.The pilot scheme would have meant 3,600 seats in the Smethwick End were converted to 'rail seats', which can be locked in an upright position.West Brom - who are bottom of the Premier League - hoped to install them in time for next season.
Sports minister Tracey Crouch says there are no plans to change the all-seater policy at football stadiums.That law was introduced followed recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.But West Brom say their proposal was based on safety concerns, because of persistent standing.
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The club's director of operations Mark Miles, who has led the proposal, described the decision as "surprising" and "disappointing"."I think the minister has taken a short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters," he said."The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now."Miles has travelled to Scottish champions Celtic and German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, where the same system is used."The system we proposed is well tested across Europe and has also worked successfully at Celtic, who are governed by different legislation than in England and Wales," he said."We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety."But I have become convinced that rail seating would enhance safety. The club is extremely disappointed with this decision and we have written back requesting a review."More to follow.
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