Wolves announce plan to introduce Molineux rail seating
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 14/05/19 10:33pm
Wolves have announced plans to become the first club in the United Kingdom to install rail seats in an entire stand at their stadium.
The seats will be fitted in Molineux's Sir Jack Hayward Stand, making it ready to be operated in future as a safe-standing area.
Managing director Laurie Dalrymple made the announcement at Wolves' end-of-season dinner on Tuesday.
"After consultation with South Bank season ticket holders and discussions at fans' parliament, we are delighted to be in a position to confirm that barrier [rail] seating will be installed at Molineux this summer," he said.
"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."
As well as the rail seats in the Sir Jack Hayward Stand, Wolves added that all seats in the Stan Cullis quadrant would be fitted with an independent barrier, with both options fully complying with safety regulations.
The work will be carried out over the summer.
Wolves' announcement comes 13 months after former sports minister Tracey Crouch blocked an application from rivals West Brom to trial a safe-standing section at The Hawthorns.
Much has changed since then, though, with Crouch bowing to pressure from clubs and supporters to review the all-seater requirement for grounds in English football's top two divisions last summer.
Her successor in the post, Mims Davies, has since commissioned two further reviews into how legal standing areas can be reintroduced to the Premier League and Championship for the first time since the Hillsborough disaster.
In the meantime, Spurs have opened their new stadium with a section of seats that can easily be converted into a standing area and several clubs, including Crystal Palace, Everton and Manchester City, have consulted their fans on installing rail seats or some other safe-standing solution at their grounds.
Scottish champions Celtic currently have the largest section of rail seats in the UK, with 2,900 of them installed in the north-east corner of Celtic Park, while Shrewsbury installed about 500 of them at the New Meadow last year.
Molineux's current capacity is 32,000, but the club's Chinese owners have plans to increase that to 50,000 by redeveloping the three oldest sides of the ground in the coming years.