Shrewsbury Town Crowdfunds £65,000 To Pay For Safe Standing Area
League One side Shrewsbury Town is set to become the "first English club to introduce safe standing" at its ground after a crowdfunding campaign raised £65,000 ($85,700) to pay for alterations at New Meadow stadium, according to Martha Kelner of the London GUARDIAN. More than 1,000 fans donated to the cause, "with their offerings bolstered by the donation of an online betting company." The club applied to have rail seats at the 10,000‑capacity ground before the end of the current season and is "on course to achieve that aim." It "could set an example for Premier League clubs to follow, with more than half thought to be open to the idea of standing areas," which have been banned in the top two divisions of English football since the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster. Clubs that have played for three seasons in the top two tiers of the football pyramid are required by law to provide all-seat stadiums. But Shrewsbury does not "come under this condition" and is supported in its quest by the English Football League (GUARDIAN, 10/17). The BBC reported the ground is 10 years old so it is "not governed by the all-seater stadiums legislation that permits clubs in Leagues One and Two to keep terraces" that existed before '94. The Shrewsbury Town Supporters' Parliament led the campaign to install about 400 rail seats, in partnership with the club and football crowdfunding site Tifosy, and had contributions from "almost 1,000 fanfunders." EFL CEO Shaun Harvey said, "I am pleased that Shrewsbury Town has successfully sourced the necessary funding to support the proposed installation of rail seating. I know the campaign has benefited from a strong community effort and I congratulate the club's supporters, as well as those from other clubs that have contributed" (BBC, 10/17).