CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Safe standing trials: sit down for now… Gooners

Arsenal won't be part of terrace scheme set to kick off in January

12 November, 2021 — By Geoff Sawyer

Emirates Stadium

THE Emirates Stadium is already regarded as one the great citadels of the Premier League, the 60,000-seat ground which Arsenal fans have just about got used to calling home.

But those who pine for the days when they stood on the terraces at Highbury, with a bag of roasted peanuts, will have to wait a little longer to relive the experience of standing up for 90 minutes.

Safe standing trials are due to begin in the top league in January with Arsenal’s sworn rivals Spurs among those who will give it a go.

Tottenham had made allowance for a possible standing section when they opened their own new stadium just before the pandemic.

Supporters have been restricted to seats – except during moments of drama or excitement – since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 which led to a requirement for all-seater stadiums. Arsenal fans, who loved to stand and sing as part of the atmosphere, sat in at the old North Bank at Highbury before it was demolished and replaced with a seats-only replacement.

Arsenal confirmed this week that it was not part of the immediate project, although have not closed the door on the idea at the 17-year-old Emirates.

A club spokesperson said: “We fully understand the view of some fans regarding safe standing and we have commissioned an external company who have been investigating the possibilities at Emirates Stadium.

“Installing rail seating at Emirates Stadium will be a significant undertaking which needs further analysis and discussion with our supporters.”

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