We’re pleased to be able to tell you that the netting will be deployed for the Barcelona game on Wednesday April 10th. It will however, be situated further forward to put it beyond the reach of the away fans.
Barcelona have only requested 2.5k tickets, compared to the nearly 4k PSG had. This means the away fans will be contained in the same space as a regular Premier League game . In turn, this will mean only a few people having to move from their usual position, as the netting will not be extended as far down East stand as it had to be for the PSG game.
The club have told us they are committed to continue working with the Local Authority, netting manufacturers and engineers to find the optimal solution in the future.
MUDSA are convinced a better solution will be found in the long term and we will continue our dialogue with the club to try and achieve that aim.
A statement from the club reads…..As you know, the netting solution was designed to prevent flares/pyrotechnics and other large objects that could be thrown from landing on those in front. Following the damage caused to the netting system at the PSG game it was clear that had it not been for the swift and effective intervention of MUFC personnel and PSG stewards this could have resulted in serious injury to others nearby. Since that time we have been working with the manufacturers and engineers to review the entire netting system to ensure it remains fit for purpose, whilst also seeking to identify an improved longer term solution. We have explored all options, including the potential re-location of the away fans in East Tier 2, and due to a range of safety and security issues, and taking advice from the Local Authority, the only deliverable solution in the short term is to move the netting structure forward to the front wall of the rear disabled ramp for the Barcelona fixture. This will prevent the away supporters being in contact with the netting and will continue to provide mitigation against missiles such as pyrotechnics to those sat below. This will necessitate the relocation of disabled fans from the rear ramp for this fixture.
We have been informed that Barcelona will take no more than 2500 tickets which means they will not be located any further towards the North Stand than Premier League opponents. This will mean the line of the netting will need to follow the same course across towards the East Stand but will stop before it goes in front of the ambulant disabled in EL134 and EL135. However, the EL133 block would still have netting in front of it. We will be contacting the ambulant disabled supporters and carers from EL133 to arrange they be relocated into EL134/135. This means that the revised netting scheme can be introduced to ensure that the netting remains behind all of our disabled supporters. Additional security and steward resources will also be deployed in this area for further reassurance. Should Barcelona not sell tickets in the furthest North block (E233), we may be able to release the full quota of Amenity Seating back to Official Members subject to further evaluation.
I appreciate that this is a change to the previous configuration but is necessary on safety grounds. We will continue to work with the Local Authority, netting manufacturers and engineers to identify the most suitable location, configuration and equipment as the longer term solution.
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