Supporters of Scottish Premiership football club Rangers are to explore the possibility of introducing a safe-standing area at the team’s Ibrox stadium.
Supporters’ groups Club 1872 and the Union Bears met last week to discuss the matter, and the Glasgow-based club itself has completed a feasibility study into the possible introduction of safe standing.
In a statement, Club 1872 said that the next step would be to “collect indicative quotes for the installation of safe standing in various potential areas within Ibrox.”
The two fan groups will work with Rangers in the coming months on the matter, with any updates to be communicated to club stakeholders.
Ibrox is currently undergoing renovation work that is not expected to be finished until 2022. Club 1872 acknowledged this project but noted that fans would like the improvement process to be accelerated to ensure that Rangers’ match-day experience is enhanced.
Club 1872’s statement continued: “We understand the positivity around creating some capacity for safe standing within Ibrox and the potential benefits that could bring to the match day atmosphere, but it is important that we acknowledge the interests of all supporters. We have to be mindful, for example, of the needs of disabled supporters and those who have held season tickets for many years in areas of the stadium where safe standing might be installed.”
Club 1872 stressed that it would be sensitive to the 1971 Ibrox disaster, which led to the deaths of 66 fans during a match against cross-city rival Celtic.
The statement added: “We must also be aware of the memory of the Ibrox disaster and how that memory could impact any move away from an all seated stadium at Ibrox. That said, we do understand the positive case that can be put forward for safe standing and it is something we wish to explore and present to members.”
Club 1872 has called on season ticket-holders to express their views on safe standing, and plans are set to be drawn up that will allow supporters to have their say on the subject.
Club 1872 added that there is “no prospect” of safe standing being in place at Ibrox prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, stressing that the process will take “a significant amount of time”.