Shrewsbury Town are aiming to become the first English side with an all-seater stadium to bring in safe standing.
Plans have been made to install rail seats, fitted and in use in one stand at their stadium before the end of the 2017/18 season, if their application is approved by the Sports Ground Safety Authority.
Leagues One and Two clubs are permitted to keep terraces that existed before 1994 under the all-seater stadia legislation but standing sections have been banned since then.
Shrewsbury’s switch to an all-seater stadium just 10 years ago when not obliged to do so means they are not governed by the legislation and are free to apply for a move to safe standing.
“There’s a clear demand from our fans for an area where they can stand safely,” said Supporters Parliament joint-chair Roger Groves on the safe standing application, which will be crowdfunded.
“We see that at every game with several hundred choosing to stand at their seats, which is not altogether safe. Rail seats will ensure that nobody falls over no matter how wildly they celebrate a goal and, by having a dedicated standing area, we believe that the overall atmosphere in the stadium will also be enhanced.
“For all those fans who prefer to sit, it will additionally mean that there will be no standing fans in their part of the ground spoiling their view.”
Scottish champions Celtic have already implemented a 2,900-capacity safe standing section at their stadium, which played a role in Shrewsbury’s decision to follow suit.
“As a Scot, I am very familiar with the great success that Celtic have had with their rail seating section,” said Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell. “So when the Supporters Parliament approached me about introducing the same concept here, I was immediately keen on the idea.
“Our Safety Officer has also visited Celtic Park recently and is all for it. We see it as an enhancement in spectator safety and a welcome provision of supporter choice. We hope, too, that by pioneering the use of rail seating in the EFL, we will be playing a useful part in paving the way for other clubs in England and Wales to follow suit in due course.”
The Premier League has written to all 20 clubs asking if they would be interested in taking part in a trial to test safe-standing, with West Brom having already volunteered to sign up.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
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