Celtic given permission to create 2,600 capacity safe standing section

Joe Hall
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Celtic fans will be able to pay for standing tickets (Source: Getty)

Celtic will install a standing area for fans at Celtic Park after Glasgow city council approved the club's plans for a rail seating system.

Up to 2,600 supporters will be able to stand in the area which the club say could be installed for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said the club had "worked tirelessly" for the installation of a standing area common in European football grounds.

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Lawwell commented:

The introduction of rail seating at Celtic Park represents an investment in spectator safety. Across football globally, the reality is that some supporters are choosing to stand at matches. This is something we must accept and manage and also understand the positive effect which these areas have on atmosphere at matches.

Rail seating has been in place in European football for some time and there has been considerable demand for some form of 'safe standing' within the UK particularly from our supporters. We are sure the rail seating section will prove very popular with supporters and we look forward to its introduction.

Dr. Steve Frosdick, an independent safety and security expert at sports grounds, said the club's move had "spectator safety at its core" by adopting a system "which has operated successfully in Europe for a number of years".

Celtic will install rail seats which can be folded up to allow for a personal standing area and with a barrier to prevent the kind of surging common on old English terraces.

Football fans in pursuit of a better atmosphere often stand in seating areas, upsetting fellow supporters and posing a safety risk. Frosdick argues that the rail seating system provides "a better way of safely accommodating those fans who wanted to stand".

In England and Wales, standing is permitted at rugby union, rugby league and football games outside the top two divisions, but banned at other football clubs which are required to have all-seater stadia.

However, a number of English clubs have supported the introduction of safe rail seat systems including Aston Villa, Leeds United, Crystal Palace and Watford.

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