Celtic Allowed 'Safe-Standing' Area
9 June 2015, 15:39
The Parkhead club had been in dialogue with authorities for over five years and have now been given the green light for change at their 60,000-capacity stadium through the installation of a rail seating system which can be found in stadiums in Austria and Germany.
Initially, the rail seating area will accommodate up to 2,600 supporters and could be introduced for the start of the 2016-17 season.
Chief executive Peter Lawwell told the club's official website: "Celtic has worked tirelessly on this issue and we are delighted that this permission has finally been granted.
"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.
"Celtic's primary objective will always be the safety and comfort of its supporters - this new system will now allow fans to stand safely 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 and particularly from our supporters.
"We are sure the rail seating section will prove very popular with supporters and we look forward to its introduction.
"I would like to thank Glasgow City Council for their support in delivering this measure and for the backing they have given to Celtic's focus on safety at matches.''
Independent Safety and Security expert Dr Steve Frosdick, who has been closely involved in Celtic's work in this area and in the application to the city council, said: "This is a great day for the club and its fans. This is a pioneering move by Celtic and one which has spectator safety at its core.
"For the first time in the UK, football fans will be able to stand to watch the game from purpose-built accommodation which is demonstrably safe.
"The club and its fans are to be congratulated for the way they have worked together to make the case to the authorities.
"Glasgow City Council and the emergency services are also to be commended, firstly for their rigorous scrutiny of the proposal and secondly for having the courage to grant the first approval.''