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Revealed: Wolves to install rail seats at Molineux

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves will become the first Premier League club to introduce rail seats – as Molineux moves a step closer to safe standing.

Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez celebrating in front of the South Bank (© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY)

Work will take place this summer on installing the seats in the South Bank in time for next season.

Every seat in the iconic stand will be changed in what the club called an 'innovative' and 'progressive' move.

Safe standing isn't allowed in the top two tiers of English football.

However a recent change in legislation means that seats incorporating rails in-between are permitted.

An artist impression of the rail seats

Wolves have had a problem with persistent standing in the South Bank – officially known as the Sir Jack Hayward Stand – for years.

And managing director Laurie Dalrymple says they will now provide the safest environment possible for their supporters.

"We're trying to being the most innovative, progressive club we can be," Dalrymple told the Express & Star.

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"At the current moment in time standing in football grounds is not permitted. Safe standing still isn't legally allowed and that's definitely not what we're advocating or promoting.

An artist impression of the rail seats

"Seats with rails are allowed. We've canvassed fans in the past few weeks and 97 per cent if those we surveyed came back telling us this is the type of environment they want.

"We, like a significant number of clubs up and down the country, continue to have a problem with persistent standing.

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"We have a responsibility to make the environment as safe as it possibly can be."

The capacity of the stand won't alter by any significant amount and the work isn't part of the largest plan to expand Molineux's capacity.

Shrewsbury Town and Celtic, who play in leagues where safe standing is allowed, have already incorporated similar examples of rail seats into their stadiums.

Wolves' plan has been approved by the local safety advisory group as well as Sports Grounds Safety Authority, which publishes the Green Guide where amendments to the seating rules have been made.

Rail seats are also in operation at Shrewsbury Town (© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY)

The South Bank has remained in its current guise since the stand opened in 1993.

Dalrymple added: "We want to take the lead.

"We feel we're at a stage where we need to make an investment into the seating anyway because arguably it's past its shelf life.

"But hopefully we're also leading from the front, providing the safest environment possible for the fans and positioning ourselves as forward-thinking and progressive.

"When we get to the point we're developing the South Bank that seating structure can continue.

"There may be other clubs looking at doing this. This is important for our fans – I go up and down the country and we're not the only ones who have standing as a persistent problem.

"We want to do something about it, to ensure we're meeting the rules and regulations and putting fan safety at the front of what we want to do."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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