The safe standing campaign received a boost in early October 2013, when new Manchester United CEO Ed Woodward told fanzine 'United We Stand' that the club was interested in safe standing.

Man Utd CEO says club will look at safe standing

"Standing is something we'll look at," Woodward told fanzine editor Andy Mitten. "I can definitely see the appeal of the German model."

Man Utd group at rail seats in Leverkusen
Mitten and United fans had a chance to try out that 'German model' for themselves just a couple of weeks later when the club played at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. Supporter Liaison Officer Franky Linde showed a group of supporters' representatives and media around the away section of the ground before the match. Fitted with red rail seats it got the thumbs up from all present. Later it helped the United fans generate a great, non-stop atmosphere as the team beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 (sorry Franky!).

Atmosphere, indeed, was one of the benefits that Woodward had recognised standing could enhance:
"You can still have an amazing atmosphere at Old Trafford... Standing can make a difference though."

Let's hope it's not long before United fans can make that difference standing behind rail seats at Old Trafford!

Picture: Front row from left to right: Ian Stirling (chairman, IMUSA), Duncan Drasdo (chief exec., MUST), Andy Mitten (editor, UWS), Franky Linde (SLO, Bayer Leverkusen)