EFL welcomes safe standing developments

Safe standing in use in Germany
Safe standing in use in Germany
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The EFL has released a statement welcoming news that League One side Shrewsbury Town are to apply for the introduction of safe standing in their ground.

The League One side is aiming to create a safe standing area with a capacity of around 500 in the Salop Leisure Stand.

Shrewsbury's stadium, Greenhous Meadow, was built 10 years ago and is one of 29 in the Football League which can currently apply for safe standing.

Clubs in England's top two divisions have been legally required to have all-seater grounds since the measure was recommended by the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster.

Should Shrewsbury win approval from the Sports Ground Safety Authority, then they would become the first all-seater stadium in England and Wales to introduce safe standing.

The announcement has been welcomed by EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

He said: “This is an important step on the journey towards our stated aim of seeing standing in stadiums across the EFL and I wish Shrewsbury Town every success in reaching their crowdfunding target to support their application.

“The installation of standing accommodation will be popular with the club’s fans and, more widely, will prove a valuable opportunity to assess the use of this form of accommodation at an English football ground.

“At present, 21 of our clubs will operate with standing accommodation. This includes clubs in all three divisions of our competition this season, including Brentford and Burton Albion in the Championship, while other clubs in the same divisions are prohibited from doing so.

“All the standing areas, including those that have been removed after the transition arrangements, were all recognised as safe and it’s now time to reconsider with the government whether the current approach needs to be reviewed.

“We are aware that the government is currently monitoring the installation of 3,000 rail seats at Celtic Park – which the EFL has been to view – and have been seen as a success last season.

“We have had a clear mandate from our clubs to pursue change in this area since 2014 and continue to lobby for changes to the all-seater policy so that all our clubs can have the flexibility to offer any safe form of accommodation, including standing, to their supporters regardless of the division they play in.

“EFL clubs want the ability to offer fans a choice of their matchday experience – whether that be seated or standing on terraces – in stadiums that are safe.”