Sports minister Tracey Crouch says her "mind is open" on safe standing at football grounds after announcing a fresh review into the subject.

The MP, speaking at a parliamentary debate on the issue, expects findings of the initial research to be completed before the end of the year.

Clubs in English football's top two tiers have had to have all-seater stadiums by law since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which left 96 Liverpool fans dead.

"Today I can announce we will commission an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy," said Crouch.

"The one thing we need to do is collect and analyse the evidence that exists and ensure that all views on this issue can be heard and considered before we make any changes to the all-seater policy.

"Change cannot and should not happen overnight on something as serious as football ground safety. My mind is open on the future of the all-seater policy."

Monday's debate was triggered after 112,000 people signed a petition backing the introduction of safe standing.

Large numbers of fans have continued to stand during games and calls for a scrapping of the all-seater requirement have grown in recent years, particularly after an independent review in 2012 confirmed standing was not the cause of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Last month, the EFL and Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) commissioned a survey which revealed more than nine in 10 supporters want the option to stand at football matches.

Despite this, in April, Crouch rejected a request from West Brom to pilot a safe-standing section next season, when there will be some 22 EFL clubs, in all three divisions, with legal standing areas.

"The legislative framework as it is currently set out means I cannot allow for any pilots," added Crouch.

"There is no wriggle room; it is either the status quo or change the legislation.

"I look forward to working closely with the Premier League and the English Football League and other football organisations, including the Football Supporters Federation, who I met last week."

Michael Brunskill, a spokesman for the FSF, was encouraged by Monday's debate and welcomed Crouch's announcement of a review.

"The overwhelming number of MPs who were in the room were so supportive of the case. I think it's fair to say that fans, clubs, leagues, MPs, we're all on the same side here making the same arguments and hopefully that aligns with government in due course," he said.

"The devil's in the detail in this. We want to see more about the review that they are proposing.

"We've got to make sure that whatever the government is planning, that the fans' case is argued and our voice isn't lost because I think in the past it has been.

"Fans love football for the spectacle, the atmosphere, not just what goes on on the pitch and standing is a huge contributing factor for that. That's why we want to see it done safely - and it can be done safely."

Such was the interest in the debate, an initial three-minute time limit was set after Luke Hall, the Member of Parliament for Thornbury and Yate, had moved the motion.

In his opening remarks on E-petition 207040, "relating to allowing Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing," Hall had highlighted the progress made with Bundesliga-style rail seats and by Scottish top-flight club Celtic.

"There is the opportunity for the bodies to take on a new and enhanced role, determined by the authorities already in place," he said.

Hall also suggested a "case-by-case" basis should be adopted, allowing clubs to "future-proof" their grounds.

Steve Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth, said safe standing was "already there" within the EFL, with "fully licensed" sections in the lower divisions.

"Not every fans wants to stand, but nearly every fan I have spoken to wants to have the choice. Government should trust fans - they know their clubs best," he said.

"I must admit, I am puzzled as to why the Government thinks the standard becomes safer as the quality of football gets worse."

Applications to stop the prosecutions of Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield and five other men over the 1989 stadium disaster are under way.

Lawyers are making submissions on their behalf to presiding judge Sir Peter Openshaw in a hearing at Preston Crown Court

Reporting restrictions on the legal submissions in relation to the above applications have been imposed by Sir Peter until further notice.