Man City follow Celtic's lead and announce rail seating plan

By David Walton

March 24, 2021

Man City have become the latest club to follow Celtic’s lead after announcing plans to introduce rail seating to the Etihad.

Celtic introduced rail seating to Parkhead back in 2016, becoming the first British club to do so. Since then, it’s housed the Green Brigade and led to a much more atmospheric feel at Parkhead.

Since its success, clubs around Britain have been forming plans to introduce the project into their own stadiums. West Ham are currently looking to install 3,000 at the London Stadium, whilst Manchester United had looked to trial it this season before Covid ruled supporters out of stadiums [BBC].

Now, however, it’s Man City who are next club looking to follow Celtic’s lead. They’ve announced today that they’ll be looking to install as many as 5,620 rail seats in the south stand of the Etihad.

All-seater stadiums have been compulsory in England since 1994-95 after the Taylor Report into the tragic Hillsborough Disaster.

Man City’s rail seating plan can leave Celtic proud

However, an interim report from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority found last year that installing barriers into a seated area “mitigated the risk of crowd collapse” [Sky Sports].

Therefore, City have become the latest club to make moves in preparation for a potential change in legislation. There is no indication of a timeframe for when the law on this may be changed.

But from a Celtic perspective, it’s another proud moment. The club were pioneers for safe standing in Britain when 2600 rail seats were put in. They’ve proved to be a rip-roaring success and have clearly impressed clubs down south.

The rail seating at Celtic Park (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

There have yet to be any serious dangers or complaints regarding the rail seating at Parkhead since it was introduced. It ensures safety amongst all supporters and minimises arguments between supporters around the stadium regarding standing in seated sections.

Safe standing can also be found in places such as the United States and Australia. It’s proven to be a success wherever it’s been installed. And it’s clear there’s now a thirst for it down in England.

Celtic, meanwhile, have every right to feel they were revolutionary in bringing safe standing back to British football.

In other news, it’s time for John Kennedy to explain what’s happening with the player he’s only given one chance to.