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Standing to be allowed on Wolves’ South Bank again

Wolves’ famous South Bank is to return to a ‘standing terrace’ for next season for the first time in 26 years.
All seats in the South Bank will be replaced with a barrier seating solution as Wolves are set to become the first Premier League club to install seats incorporating barriers in an existing stadium.
It means fans in the most vocal part of Molineux can ‘officially’ stand again in the section of the ground where it has proved the trickiest to keep supporters seated.
Managing director Laurie Dalrymple said: “After consultation with South Bank season ticket holders and discussions at Fans Parliament, we are delighted to be in a position to confirm barrier seating will be installed at Molineux this summer.
“In April, we sent all supporters who have a season ticket in the South Bank a survey asking them a number of questions about their matchday habits, including whether or not they would be in favour of barrier seating in the stand. An overwhelming majority of 97 per cent told us they would be in favour of the change.”
The last time the South Bank was a standing-only terrace was in 1993, before the old terracing was demolished to make way for the current 5,200-all seater stand.
In addition, all seats in the Stan Cullis Stand quadrant will be fitted with an independent barrier. Both options will fully comply with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s most recent guidance.
Government policy prevents any official standing areas in the top two divisions of English football. But the latest edition of the SGSA’s Green Guide contains guidelines on the use of ‘seats incorporating barriers’ and ‘seats with independent barriers’.
The SGSA has said provided certain strict conditions are met, both independent barriers and seats incorporating barriers can comply with the government’s all-seater policy.
Persistent standing has been an issue for the club for many years, and with a number of seats in the South Bank identified as coming to the end of their life cycle and a desire to reduce the risks of fans stood up for long periods, the club has decided to install barrier seating this summer, in time for the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
“For some time, we have been working very closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority and our Safety Advisory Group to evaluate our options, and the results of this survey meant we were happy to move forwards with the work this summer, with no negative implications to the capacity of either stand,” added Dalrymple.
“It is important to stress these will not be safe-standing areas, and we will continue to have a management plan in place to ensure compliance with the governments all-seater policy. The Sports Ground Safety Authority will be closely monitoring Molineux and particularly any new seating arrangements to ensure our continued compliance with the licence conditions.”
Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium was built with a similar solution already installed, but Wolves will become the first club to install rail seating in an existing stadium.
Dalrymple added: “I think that is something we should be very proud of.”