Shrews launch crowdfunder for England's first rail seat area

New Meadow Rail Seats Photo MStadianet

Shrewsbury Town's efforts to become the first club in England with a licensed safe standing rail seat section gathered pace today as crowdfunding for the initiative began.

The Shrews are aiming to raise £75,000 to install around 550 rail seats in the south stand at New Meadow and the drive raised more than £6,000 within its first 24 hours.

Roger Groves, chair of the Supporters Parliament at Shrewsbury Town, said: "Being able to stand in a proper standing area is something that many of our fans have missed in the 10 years since we moved from Gay Meadow, where over half the crowd used to stand.

"There is great support now for our plan to introduce rail seating here to enable fans to stand safely."

A range of perks are on offer for supporters who contribute to the crowdfunding campaign - including a chance to win tickets to experience the "Yellow Wall" standing area at Borussia Dortmund's Westfalenstadion.

Dortmund's chief executive Aki Watzke said: "We are delighted to be able to play our own small part in helping the fans of Shrewsbury Town bring rail seating to England.

"We wish them every success with this pioneering project and hope that the supporters of safe standing who secure the tickets for our games have a wonderful time on the 'Yellow Wall'."

Any funds raised in excess of £75,000 will go into the Football Supporters' Federation Safe Standing Campaign fund to support work at other clubs and fan activity across England and Wales.

FSF National Council member Ally Simcock attended the launch and said the initiative would have an impact way beyond Shropshire.

"Enabling all football fans to have a choice of seated or standing accommodation has long been an objective of the FSF," Ally said.

"So we’re fully behind this campaign and would urge fans all over the country to support it, not least because any surplus raised will go into an FSF pot to help fund safe standing projects at other clubs."

 The crowdfunding campaign is being organised by Tifosy, who specialise in fan-funding projects. Previously they have helped raise six-figure sums for developments at Bradford City, Portsmouth, Fulham and others.

Thanks to mStadia.net for the image used in this piece.