October 17, 2017 / 11:17 AM / in 10 months

Soccer: Shrewsbury to become first English club with safe standing section

REUTERS - Shrewsbury Town are set to become the first English club to have a safe standing section in their ground after they reached their financing target through a crowd-funding campaign, they said on Tuesday.

All-seater stadiums became mandatory in England’s top two divisions following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans were killed in a crush at an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

League One (third tier) Shrewsbury had approached Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) in June to increase the capacity at their Montgomery Waters Meadow stadium by using 500 rail seats.

The crowd-funding initiative led by Shrewsbury Town Supporters’ Parliament raised 65,000 pounds ($86,000) and drew support from almost 1,000 fans.

“We are delighted that Shrewsbury Town will be the flagship club in addressing this issue, which is so important to so many fans,” Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell said in a statement.

“We will now continue to work closely with our local Safety Advisory Group to gain the necessary certification for the Safe Standing area....and we hope to have supporters watching home games from the safe standing area before the end of the season”.

West Bromwich Albion told the Premier League in June that they would be willing to use the Hawthorns as a part of any pilot scheme for safe standing.

($1 = 0.7552 pounds)

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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