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Manchester United announces trial of barrier seating at Old Trafford

Manchester United

The winter sun shines over the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Old Trafford will have a slightly new look soon, but for how long?

Manchester United has been given permission to experiment with around 1500 safe-standing “barrier seats” at their home ground, the club announced Wednesday.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

United managing director Richard Arnold said that the move was inspired by the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, and that the club hopes it can be a positive step.

Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where – as with other clubs – we have seen examples of persistent standing. It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy. If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.

The standing area with a rail in front is a throwback, and plenty of venues -- Think Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall -- have entire sections of safe standing

Standing in England’s top two divisions was outlawed following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. Multiple teams have been given permission to experiment with safe standing sections in recent years.