Liverpool FC is expanding its rail seating trial on the Kop following the installation of the seating last season.
Rail seating has been installed in two areas of Anfield following a safety review by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA). The review highlighted that during matches persistent standing in the Kop and Anfield Road lower tier is an issue that needs to be addressed to ensure supporters’ safety.
The initial trial saw 7,800 seats with rail seating installed on the Kop and across the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand.
The club will now extend the trial of railed seating on the Kop and will use the winter break of the Premier League season to install an additional 2,500 rail seats. The expansion will be across blocks 202-306, rows 61-49 on the Kop. This will take the total rail seats in the Kop to 4,300. Work will commence imminently and will take approximately five weeks to install.
Season ticket holders whose seats are impacted by these changes will be contacted in due course to explain the changes and how this will impact them.
The SGSA’s regulatory focus is on reducing persistent standing risks in stadiums and avoiding potential crowd collapses. The report has evidenced that safety rails increase safety within all-seater stadiums. The SGSA considers it important to maintain momentum on managing the identified persistent standing risks at stadiums.
The seating installed at Anfield includes normal stadium seats with an integrated safety rail behind them to avoid a crowd collapse. The design is to enable fans to stand safely at key moments in the game, like goal celebrations, but must revert to a seat at other times. Fans are advised this is not a ‘safe standing’ area – Anfield remains an all-seater stadium. The safety of supporters when they come to Anfield is our top priority.
The club has consulted the Supporters Board, in line with our agreed fan-engagement framework, about the extension of railed seating and it provided positive feedback on the initial phase of the pilot. The expansion of railed seating will be reviewed again at the end of the season.
Andy Hughes, managing director at Liverpool FC, said: “Following a review of the initial rail seating trial last season, we will now expand the trial and introduce rail seating in additional areas of the Kop to further address crowd safety and persistent standing in line with SGSA guidance.
“The health and safety of our supporters when attending matches at Anfield is paramount. As we have said before, it is essential that we listen to the experts and deliver their recommendations to address this important safety issue.”