The EFL has welcomed Shrewsbury Town's application to become the first EFL club to introduce rail seating before the end of 2017/18.
The club announced this morning that it is seeking crowdfunding to support plans to install rail seating in the Salop Leisure Stand, with a capacity of around 500 within their 10,000-capacity all-seater ground.
This development was made possible in March 2017 when the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) agreed to establish a process, following representations from the EFL, by which clubs that are not subject to the all-seater requirements can install rail seating.
Options for standing areas in grounds is to be one aspect of a review into stadium criteria which was agreed at the EFL’s recent Summer Conference.
Other areas under consideration will include artificial pitches, accessibility, broadcast facilities and the ability to consume alcohol in view of the pitch. The views of clubs will be sought throughout this process.
Today’s announcement has been welcomed by EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey.
He said: “This is an important step on the journey towards our stated aim of seeing standing in stadiums across the EFL and I wish Shrewsbury Town every success in reaching their crowdfunding target to support their application.
“The installation of standing accommodation will be popular with the club’s fans and, more widely, will prove a valuable opportunity to assess the use of this form of accommodation at an English football ground.
“At present, 21 of our clubs will operate with standing accommodation. This includes clubs in all three divisions of our competition this season, including Brentford and Burton Albion in the Sky Bet Championship, while other clubs in the same divisions are prohibited from doing so.
“All the standing areas, including those that have been removed after the transition arrangements, were all recognised as safe and it’s now time to reconsider with the government whether the current approach needs to be reviewed.
“We are aware that the government is currently monitoring the installation of 3,000 rail seats at Celtic Park – which the EFL has been to view – and have been seen as a success last season.
“We have had a clear mandate from our clubs to pursue change in this area since 2014 and continue to lobby for changes to the all-seater policy so that all our clubs can have the flexibility to offer any safe form of accommodation, including standing, to their supporters regardless of the division they play in.
“EFL clubs want the ability to offer fans a choice of their matchday experience – whether that be seated or standing on terraces – in stadiums that are safe.”