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Is safe standing the future for football ?

Bristol City today showcased a standing area at Ashton Gate that they hope will lead to a move away from all-seater stadia in this country.

Clubs in the top two divisions in England don't currently allow standing at matches under rules set out following the Hillborough disaster in 1989, when 96 people died.

But if they get the go-ahead, Bristol City will accommodate up to four thousand fans in so-called 'safe standing areas' as part of their £40 million redevelopment. Chris Spittles reports.

Plans for Bristol City 'safe standing' seats expected

Bristol City could become the first club in the UK to have safe-standing seats. Credit: Nick Potts/EMPICS Sport

Bristol City Football Club are expected to unveil plans to install the UK's first block of 'safe standing' rail seats in its revamped stadium.

The announcement is expected at a press conference at the club later, and will be the first modern 'standing' seat since they were abolished in the 1990's.

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"Exciting times" for Bristol City FC

Steve Lansdown has confirmed work on Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium could begin as early as May. Speaking at the club's Annual Supporters Meeting he said:

We’ll sign the section 106 agreement any day now, and then we have six weeks to wait for the Judicial Review period. We wanted to give some certainty to supporters, so if we get through to March with no Judicial Review, then we will be going ahead with the redevelopment plans, starting in May. It’s exciting times

– Steve Lansdown, Bristol City, majority shareholder

Ashton Gate work could start this summer

Work on the stadium could begin as early as May 2014 Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Bristol City football club's majority shareholder Steve Lansdown has announced work to redevelop Ashton Gate could begin as early as this summer.

Speaking at the club's Annual Supporters Meeting Mr Lansdown said a section 106 agreement will be signed soon and provided there is no Judicial Review application work could begin as early as May.

Read the full statement on the club's website.

City and Rovers knocked out of the FA Cup

Bristol Rovers' Eliot Richards is tackled by Birmingham City's Hayden Mullins. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

It's been a disappointing night for the West Country's football teams.

Both Bristol clubs have been knocked out of the FA Cup. Rovers lost their third round tie at Birmingham 3-0, while City went down 2-0 in their replay at Watford.

And in League One, Swindon Town were beaten 2-0 at bottom-of-the-table Stevenage.

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City & Rovers hope for FA Cup shocks

Tonight's FA Cup 3rd round matches Credit: ITV News West Country

Bristol City play Watford tonight in an FA Cup third round replay. The teams drew 1-1 at Ashton Gate 10 days ago. The winners will face either Manchester City or Blackburn who play tomorrow.

Bristol Rovers are also in third round action this evening. They take on Birmingham City for the right to play Swansea.

Tyrone Barnett signs for Bristol City

Peterborough striker Tyrone Barnett joins Bristol City on loan Credit: Bristol City FC

Bristol City have signed Peterborough United striker Tyrone Barnett on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old, who stands at 6ft 3in, will bolster manager Steve Cotterill’s striking options for the remainder of the campaign.

Manager Steve Cotterill said: "I'm delighted to have Tyrone on board. He offers us something different in the striking department.

"We'll have to work on his fitness because he hasn't played too many games recently. I'm sure he'll fit in well with the group because he's a good character."

Last season he joined Ipswich Town on loan but suffered a knee injury which restricted him to just three appearances.

Back at Peterborough this season he netted seven times in 26 outings before his switch to Ashton Gate.

Bristol City's match at Leyton Orient called off

The Matchroom Stadium at Brisbane Road, home of Leyton Orient. Credit: Daniel Hambury/EMPICS Sport

Bristol City's New Year's Day fixture at Leyton Orient has been postponed due to structural damage at the Matchroom Stadium caused by the recent adverse weather conditions.

The floodlights at the stadium were damaged over the Christmas period and require repair work before the stadium is safe for public use.

City are 21st in League One after winning back-to-back games for the first time since January.

Orient are second in the table. They drew 1-1 with third-placed Wolves on Sunday.

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