English Premier League football club Manchester City has asked supporters whether they would be willing to pay up to £580 (€651/$741) for a safe-standing season ticket as part of plans to expand Etihad Stadium, according to multiple reports.
Last week, it emerged that the club is considering expanding the capacity of the Etihad by approximately 8,000 to 63,000, with safe-standing plans said to be on the agenda.
The BBC has now reported that supporters of the defending Premier League champions have been asked whether they would be interested in a safe-standing season ticket as part of an online survey to gather supporters’ thoughts on the match-day experience.
The club is said to be open to safe standing under the “right circumstances”. It comes after the UK government earlier this year commissioned an official review into safe standing, which has been outlawed in the top two leagues of English football since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.
The current capacity of the Etihad Stadium is 55,000 after City added a third tier to the South Stand ahead of the 2015-16 season.
Last week, the chances of safe standing being introduced in the top two divisions of English football for next season were seemingly dealt a blow, with a report by independent social research company CFE Research reportedly not set to be finished by the end of the year as had originally been hoped.
Initial analysis work will reportedly be completed by the end of December, which will then allow for the identification of gaps in research and further work. Any subsequent change to legislation would then take months, meaning the 2020-21 season is a more likely target for introduction.
Image: Cléria De Souza