Shrewsbury Town are delighted that progress has been made to finally install the new Safe Standing Rail Seats.
Town Chief Executive Brian Caldwell has been an ever-present member of staff, along with the Supporters Parliament in ensuring the Safe Standing section gets over the line.
Caldwell is pleased at the progress that has been made and is happy installation can soon start, he said: "There's been quite a bit of progress in the last few weeks. We met the Safety Advisory Group, which Roger Groves and Mike Davis came to as well which I think is really important, not just for the Safety Advisory Group but also for Roger and Mike to see the workings of that.
"The other side of that is that The Safety Advisory Group can see the fans perspective and now it's good that the end is in sight. We're all looking forward to them being installed. I think we would have all preferred it back in February or March when we said originally but just with the way things have gone with our season and the delays in getting them here as well. We're just delighted it's nearing a conclusion.
"There's a lot of things we have done with the Supporters Parliament that has enhanced things. With this being a supporters initiative, initially when they came to us. We have been happy to put funds towards it as well. We felt it was the right thing to do, it's a good initiative and it's really put our club on the map."
Town will need a two-week period in order to remove and replaces the seats with the new Rail Seats; this is an obstacle the club has had to get around, Brian said: "They initially said 10 days, I think the concern we have got between games is that you don't want to rush it and not be able to open it properly because it's not quite finished.
"Now we have got that two week period and we know when it will be, we can just plan ahead for that now. The Safety Advisory Group have got the paperwork ready for us. Providing it's all installed per specification that has been provided to building control from Shropshire council, we have had to go through Building Standards as well as the Safety Advisory Group, but everyone is comfortable. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes for the safety and Management of it."
Season Ticket sales have been good in the area, but Town can confirm if seats are still available that fans can purchase tickets on a match by match basis, Caldwell said: "Mike and I have been speaking to the Safety Advisory Group about that, it was mentioned at the last meeting and it was mentioned again last week. I think it's important that we don't eliminate people who want to stand and this open's that up. Although season ticket holders will get priority in that area, but hopefully on a match-by-match basis there will be some tickets available. Which allows a supporter who maybe can't afford to buy a season ticket but wants to stand to do that."
Shrewsbury Town are the first league club in England and Wales to have a Safe Standing area. Brian Caldwell is proud that the work put in has achieved a first for football in England, he said: "The publicity we have had out of it has been incredible, everybody talks to us about it at every club we go to. Everybody now knows Shrewsbury Town and Safe Standing now go together.
"It's great for us, it's great to be on the map as the first club in England and Wales to install it. I think there will be a lot of clubs contacting us in the near future asking to see it and asking for further information. We are the first and I'm sure there will be other clubs ready to follow suit."
West Bromwich Albion are another club in England who are interested in a Safe Standing area but were unfortunately turned down, Caldwell says he would back Albion and any other club in trying to get Safe Standing installed, he said: "We would back any club who want to take Safe Standing on like we have. It's great how we have worked together, the Club with the Supporters Parliament. We have worked really, really well on this and a lot of time has been spent on this working to make sure we get this right and we have done all the planning stages.
"But the bigger picture is, I do believe other clubs will follow suit and I think the law will change but I think people were waiting for the pilot, being Shrewsbury Town to be the first people to do it, to see how we got on with it.
"I think at this stage, clubs will be waiting and watching for when Shrewsbury install our Safe Standing before they move forward with anyone else."
EFL Rules state that Championship clubs must have an all seated stadium, however their rules state clubs have three seasons to convert there stadiums to the correct specification but this isn't something Caldwell feels the club have to worry about in the event of promotion, he said: "It's three seasons we would have in the Championship prior having to go back to all seated. However we would have until we are officially promoted at the EFL conference in June, so it does buy us a bit of time to get it installed.
"No matter what happens this season, Safe Standing will be in and it will be there for next season."
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