Shrewsbury become first English club to apply for rail seats

League One side hopes to have 'safe-standing' area installed at Greenhous Meadow by end of next season

Celtic safe standing rail seats
Fans in Celtic's standing area in Parkhead
(Image credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Shrewsbury Town could become the first English league team to introduce "safe standing" after applying to install rail seats at their ground.

The League One club have asked permission to convert around 400 seats at their 10,000-capacity home, Greenhous Meadow,

"There's a clear demand from our fans for an area where they can stand safely," said Roger Groves, joint chairman of Shrewsbury Town's Supporters' Parliament.

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"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."

The move has been "hailed as landmark step in the return of standing to the domestic game", says the Daily Telegraph.

It comes three months after the Sports Grounds Safety Authority agreed to allow rail seating in 21 grounds that are not subject to all-seater requirements.

"That gave a number of League One and Two clubs license to install such seating if they wished, something Shrewsbury plan to do via a crowdfunding campaign," adds the Telegraph.

The club hope to have a safe standing area installed by the end of the coming season.

Terracing disappeared from most English grounds following the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster, which came out in 1990.

However, many fans prefer to stand to watch the games, something that has led to conflict over the years, with standing supporters at West Ham's new stadium finding themselves next to families with children.

Celtic introduced a 2,900-capacity safe standing area at Parkhead last season, reports the BBC, and West Brom have expressed an interest in the idea.

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