Newcastle United can confirm the club has been granted exemption from the Premier League’s ‘Away Supporter Location’ ruling.
Premier League rule 10.3, which was introduced at the start of the 2017/18 season, requires clubs to locate away supporters together, with a minimum of one seating block to be situated pitch-side, subject to local authority approval. Since the redevelopment of St James’ Park in 2000, away supporters have been located on level seven of the Leazes Stand and will remain there after extensive consultation with the local authority, emergency services and independent consultants concluded it to be the most appropriate location to ensure the safety of away supporters.
The club adopted a positive approach following notification of the Premier League’s rule change and commissioned detailed crowd flow modelling of supporter movements on a match day, to determine if a safe relocation option could be accommodated. This considered all stands and sections within the stadium.
However, analysis showed that each proposed option for relocation significantly increased the risk of confrontation, conflict and potential disorder between home and away supporters entering and, in particular, exiting the stadium. Following a number of meetings of the stadium Safety Advisory Group, the Local Authority formally agreed not to support any move of away supporters from their current location, concluding that such a relocation would introduce a significant risk to spectator safety.
The club is satisfied that it has taken all reasonable steps to comply with the ruling and welcomes the granting of an exemption by the Premier League.