18/09/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Council backs Shrewsbury Town fan trial

Related topics: Coronavirus / Economic growth / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council is backing the Government-endorsed trial which will see Shrewsbury Town FC welcome back supporters this weekend.

This Saturday, 1,000 fans are set to attend the game against Northampton Town FC at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The council has held talks with representatives of the football club to discuss how to ensure a small number of fans could safely attend the game.

Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“It is exciting that Shrewsbury is at the forefront of this trial and I know the club and supporters will follow the rules and act sensibly at all times.

“The council has worked closely with the club and other authorities to ensure the safety of the small number of fans attending Saturday’s game. I know many supporters will have their pre- and post-match traditions, but we would advise everyone to act responsibly and follow coronavirus rules and guidelines.

“It is a major step forward and I hope the club can help pave the way for a wider return to sport by spectators in the future. I want to wish Sam Ricketts and the squad the best for this season.”

This fixture will be closely monitored by the authorities before any decision is made on future games being played before supporters.

Those attending the game will be discouraged from using public transport or sharing cars, and the club has published the guidelines that must be followed in and around the stadium on face coverings and one-way systems.

Fans must adhere to the seating arrangements in place for the test event, with a maximum of 1,000 supporters seated socially distanced within the stadium’s West Stand. Tickets for the match are being made available to season ticket holders only.

The club have put sanitising stations inside and outside the stadium, a one way system in operation for access to toilets, mobile catering units at the rear of the West Stand, a seating template which allows families to sit within their bubbles, and arranged other measures to ensure the pilot is successful.

Shrewsbury CEO Brian Caldwell said:

“It’s fantastic that we are able to welcome a small number of fans back to the Montgomery Waters Meadow. We have been trying to do a pilot and have been pushing from day one to try and get a pilot to open all four stands. When you look at it now, there are only seven clubs in the country who are doing the pilot for 1,000 fans – we are one of them.

“We decided we are going to take the challenge on, despite the difficulties and the short timescale to get everything right, but I do feel that we are in a good position with 24 acres around the stadium. All the staff at the club have worked really, really hard to make sure everything is in place for the one thousand.

“We needed permission from our local safety advisory group, a group made up of the Sports Ground Safety Authority, Shropshire Council, the police, fire, and ambulance. I’ve got to be grateful to all of the groups as they acted quickly to support our application.”

Further details can be found here