The government is set to finally relax the draconian rules that have prevented fans from standing at Premier League games since 1994-95, when the all-seater requirements were first established.

Standing in English football's top two divisions was outlawed following recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Clubs are being invited to join an initial pilot scheme under the auspices of the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), who have allowed the installation of rail seating since 2018.

The SGSA said the announcement of the pilot scheme "starts the legal process needed for clubs to offer licensed standing areas from 1 January".

Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves have all had rail seating installed at their grounds.

"We know many fans want the choice to stand and, with the advent of new engineering solutions, our research has shown how this can be managed safely," said SGSA chief executive Martyn Henderson.

"This announcement will enable us to properly test and evaluate licensed standing areas before the government decides its next steps."