All clubs in the top two tiers of English football could be allowed to introduce licensed safe standing areas next season.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said he was minded to change the existing all-seater policy to enable all Premier League and Sky Bet Championship clubs to introduce safe standing sections under strict conditions.

This follows a pilot involving five clubs in the second half of the current campaign and Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, said that a decision on next season is subject to an independent evaluation of the findings.

He added: “The Government’s approach has been driven by safety considerations throughout and this will continue to be our priority.

“We are not complacent about spectator safety, nor are we complacent about the safety policies that have served spectators well for many years.

"We will continue to work closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, football clubs, the football governing bodies and local authorities to ensure that spectator safety remains paramount.”

Cardiff, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham took part in this season’s pilot.

The pilot began with Chelsea’s match at home to Liverpool on January 2, marking the end of a blanket ban on standing in the top two tiers of English football which had been in place for more than 25 years.

Since August 1994 clubs have been required to provide all-seated accommodation, in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

An interim report on the pilot, conducted by CFE Research and published last month, found safe standing measures were having a positive impact on crowd safety.

The installation of barriers or rails in seated areas where persistent standing had been occurring led to more orderly goal celebrations, made fans’ exit from the area easier to manage, and made areas of overcrowding easier to spot.

The interim report found blocking of aisles and gangways and climbing on barriers remained risks associated with standing, but that none of these had increased as a result of the introduction of licensed standing areas.

Seats in the standing areas must remain unlocked to allow spectators the option of sitting, an approach which has been criticised by some campaigners who argue this makes it easier for barriers to be climbed onto, and could cause an obstruction when exit from the area is required to be made quickly.

Huddleston has previously said he feels giving supporters the option of sitting is the “balanced approach”.