May 20 - West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has revealed he wants to introduce standing areas at the Olympic Stadium in London when the club moves into the venue for the 2016-2017 football season, despite the fact that it is currently banned.
Terraces were banned following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 people were killed in a crush.
The tragedy caused a complete change in football grounds so it is now against the law for clubs in the top two divisions not to have an all-seater ground.
But Gold feels that the law will soon be reversed so that West Ham will be able to have "safe standing" areas at the Olympic Stadium following their move to the venue in three years' time.
"Safe standing in football stadiums will happen," Gold insisted.
"I promise you it will happen.
"I'd be stunned if we don't have some sort of safe standing experiment soon.
"I think, in five years, we will see safe standing at football stadiums because, let's face it, it's not very expensive to install and it's safe, very safe.
"In fact, it's twice or three times safer than what we have at the moment.
"We now don't have the violence we once had and already what exists is unsafe standing."
Gold has also revealed his frustration at having to wait until 2016 to move into the £429 million ($691 million/€528 million) venue due to, what he claims, was the mistake of designing the venue for an athletics-only legacy.
The venue will cost around £160 million ($260 million/€200 million) to convert, with West Ham contributing £15 million ($22 million/€17 million) of the bill, but Gold says a football, rugby or cricket legacy should have been factored in from day one of planning for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
"I'm irritated," he said.
"If this had been done, we could be in that stadium now."
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