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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Scunthorpe suffer blow in bid to avoid going all-seater

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson
Hugh Robertson was appointed Minister for Sport and Olympics in May.

Scunthorpe United have suffered a blow in their hopes of keeping a standing terrace at Glanford Park next season, reports BBC Radio Humberside.

Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin has called for a change to the rule that, if a club is in the Championship for three years, they must become an all-seater venue.

But Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said that the rule is unlikely to change.

"If I'm honest, there's not a ground- swell of opinion from the football authorities seeking a change," he said.

"I think they're scarred by the Hillsborough experience, as are many in government," added Robertson, at a special House of Commons debate.

Having initially been promoted to the Championship in 2007, Scunthorpe were then relegated, only to bounce straight back up. But they stayed up last season to ensure a third campaign at this level.

It's a very small ground and doesn't have the issues of large grounds

Scunthorpe Labour MP Nic Dakin on Glanford Park

And, if they stay up again in May (they currently stand 21st, kept out of the relegation zone only on goal difference), then the all-seater rule would automatically kick in.

But Labour MP Dakin believes that it makes sense for The Iron's home ground to stay as it is.

"It seems quite extreme really, given the fact that there's a strong record of safety at the ground," said Dakin.

"It's a very small ground and doesn't have the issues of large grounds that the all-seater decision was designed to address."

Glanford Park has been Scunthorpe's home since 1988 following their move from the Old Showground and currently has a capacity of 9,088.

The plans to make the ground all-seater would see the south stand at the Doncaster Road end converted, reducing the capacity to 8,003.

The Lincolnshire club are drawing up plans to extend the Doncaster Road stand if seats have to be installed keep capacity at its present size.

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