Wolverhampton Wanderers FC will officially operate licensed safe standing areas at Molineux for the first time from Saturday 4th March against Tottenham Hotspur.

The game marks a landmark moment for the Premier League club that has been at the forefront of the campaign to introduce areas of safe standing at all-seater stadiums for many years.

In the summer of 2019, Wolves became the first Premier League side to install barrier seating into an existing stadium, after the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) confirmed that it could be licensed as compliant with the government’s all-seater policy.

Now, the SGSA have granted Wolves the licence to operate safe standing, which will see legal standing return to Molineux for the first time since 1993.

The licence was granted earlier this month, after the club installed 585 barrier seats in the Steve Bull Stand. These seats had to be installed to get the licence, which stipulates that areas for licensed standing must be available to both home and visiting supporters.

Wolves now offer 5,553 seats in the Sir Jack Hayward Stand, 2,115 seats in the Stan Cullis Stand and 585 seats in the Steve Bull Lower Stand, providing a total capacity of 8,253 licensed standing seats across the stadium, and become the fifth Premier League club to receive the licence.

Wolves’ facilities, safety and security director Steve Sutton said: 

We are absolutely delighted to have been granted this license after many, many years of hard work by a number of people. We have listened to feedback from our fans and played an active role in supporting the process, including taking part in the research, that has led to this historic change in policy.

As part of the introduction of licensed safe standing at Molineux, a number of new measures have been introduced already, including updated ground regulations, which contain conditions relating to the standing areas, and a code of conduct for anyone who purchases a ticket in the areas.

Tickets for seats in those areas will see safe standing messaging incorporated into the ticket’s design, and anyone with season tickets in those areas will be made aware of the new code of conduct.

Wolves will now face additional scrutiny from authorities in relation to persistent standing occurring in other areas of the stadium, with the club required to put in place a management plan to ensure that persistent standing does not occur in areas without mitigating measures.

Failure on the club’s behalf to adhere to this plan and manage and control persistent standing will inevitably lead to enforcement action by the authorities, that could result in seats being made unavailable in future.