MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 20:47:03| >> :120:10283:10283:

Liverpool to trial temporary Anfield rail seating amid safety review

Liverpool to trial temporary Anfield rail seating amid safety review
© Reuters
Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James and is the former chair of the disbanded Hillsborough Family Support Group, has given her support.

Liverpool are to trial temporary rail seating at Anfield next season as part of a continuing review over safety.

The subject has been a difficult one for the club to approach over the years because they are sensitive to the families of the 96 people who died after the terrace crush at Hillsborough in 1989.

However, they have been in regular dialogue with representatives and wrote to all the families on Monday and Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James and is the former chair of the disbanded Hillsborough Family Support Group, has given her support.

Women of the Year Awards
Margaret Aspinall, former chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, has given her backing to the trial of rail seating at Anfield (Yui Mok/PA)

"I can't speak for the families because they will have their own opinions but I've no issues at all with that because we've always campaigned for fans' safety," she told the PA news agency.

"I think it is important after you heard about the lad at Wembley who fell (from a stand at England's Euro 2020 match against Croatia on Sunday).

"At first I didn't want any form of safe standing but I have changed my opinion because you see people standing, only at certain times, and the seat is still there for them to sit back down again and the rails are there to stop them falling over.

"I would have a different opinion if all the seating was taken out. I had seen rail seating previously and I disagreed with them at the time but you come to realise the paying fans get excited.

"I am guilty myself; at a game when Liverpool scored I stood up, excited, so I'm no different from anyone else."

A review by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) highlighted persistent standing during matches in the Kop and Anfield Road lower tier is an issue that needs to be addressed to ensure supporters' safety.

Liverpool have had a plan to manage persistent standing for many years but following the SGSA's most recent review it is now advising the installation of safety rails in the Kop (1,800) and Anfield Road Stand (6,000) in the Anfield Road Stand lower tier.

The club have stressed Anfield will remain an all-seater stadium and the trialled areas with the new seats and safety rails are not 'safe standing' areas.

"The safety of our supporters when they come to Anfield is our absolute priority and we are fully committed to working with the SGSA on the trial of these new seats," managing director Andy Hughes said.

"It is critical that we listen to the experts and deliver their recommendations to address this safety issue.

"We will complete a full review of the trial in 12 months at the end of next season."

An artist's impression showing how the redeveloped Anfield Road Stand will mirror the design of the Main Stand
Planning permission has been granted for a £60million redevelopment of the Anfield Road Stand (Liverpool FC/PA handout)

The ground is also set for a major £60million redevelopment after planning permission was granted by Liverpool City Council to build a new Anfield Road Stand which will add 7,000 seats and take the capacity above 61,000.

Work will involve rerouting the existing Anfield Road around the new development, skirting the edge of Stanley Park, and then building behind the current stand with a view to joining up the old and new structures in the close season – thereby lessening the impact on the overall capacity.

The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023 and Hughes said: "This is a huge milestone in our journey towards bringing more supporters into Anfield.

Drone shot of how the new Anfield Road Stand will look from the air
The new Anfield Road Stand is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023 (Liverpool FC/PA handout)

"We have been clear from the beginning that this expansion would be based on our ability to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape; our ability to gain co-operation of local residents and the community; and our ability to ensure the project is financially viable.

"In what has been a very unpredictable year, we are seeking certainty in order to progress with this project and there are still some steps we need to take to get there."

As part of the planning application the club have also been given permission to hold up to six concerts and major events – such as American and Gaelic football – per year at the stadium for a period of five years.

ID:451470: cacheID:451470:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:9485:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Takumi Minamino in action for Liverpool on January 23, 2020
Read Next:
Tuesday's Liverpool transfer talk: Minamino, Neuhaus, Mbappe

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea1023
Ecuador flagEcuador1001
29  Great BritainGreat Britain0000
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

· History beckons for Jade Jones as she looks to become a three-time Olympic champion - something never done before in the sport prior to these Games (2am-1.45pm)
· Team GB's Bradly Sinden - world champion two years ago - is also going for gold in the men's -68kg category (2am-1.45pm)

· Already-legendary gymnast Simone Biles makes her first appearance of the Games in the women's qualifying event (2am-2pm)

· The first swimming medals of the Games will be dished out, with home favourite Daiya Seto going for gold in the men's 400m individual medley (2.30am-4.20am)

· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

· Reigning two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray starts his title defence against Canadian hotshot Felix Auger-Aliassime (7am approx.)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Pre-Season Friendlies
Olympic Games Women's Football
Taca da Liga
Scottish League Cup
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
Belarusian Premier League
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
J1 League

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!