West Ham exploring safe standing ahead of trial this season


est Ham could join Tottenham as early adopters of safe standing in English football.

Spurs have confirmed they will to be part of a trial to allow standing at Premier League and the Championship starting from January 1 after the government gave the green light to the Sports Ground Safety Authority [SGSA] to begin assessing grounds.

Clubs in the top two divisions have until October 6 to apply to the SGSA to offer supporters licensed standing areas. To qualify for a licence clubs must meet certain criteria, which includes having safe standing areas in both home and away ends.

Fans must also be able to sit in such areas if wanted while supporters in other areas or those with disabilities cannot be affected.

West Ham currently have safety rails in home and away areas but will first hold discussions with the SGSA and the local Safety Authority Group over whether they meet all criteria. Following that a decision will be made on whether or not to apply for a licence.

It is understood Chelsea Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Wolves may also be able to meet the criteria, though alterations may need to be made.

Arsenal are currently unable to meet the criteria but will hold discussions with fans, while Brentford are looking into the possibility of installing railings following a legislation change after deciding against installing them when their new ground was first built.

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