On Monday 10th June, at the invitation of CEO Brian Caldwell, we attended a meeting at STFC regarding our project. Also present at the meeting were representatives from the club’s safety and media departments, as well as from the Supporters’ Parliament. The meeting provided us with an opportunity to outline our ideas to the club, and for them to provide feedback in terms of how they can support us, and anything we may need to be wary of going forward.
The first topic to be discussed was what exactly is permitted in the stadium? The club’s safety representative explained that supporters are free to bring flags up to a size of 2m x 1m with any exposed flagpole needing to be less than 1m in length. This means that the majority of the flags we intend to purchase will not need any special permission. Any flags larger than this will require the relevant fire safety testing, and we will therefore work with the club going forward to ensure that know any flags we have planned are allowed in the stadium before we purchase them!
In terms of where flags are going to be located, much of this depends on how much money is raised, which affects how many flags are purchased, and therefore how many people we can get involved. Our long term aim remains to turn the entire South Stand into a sea of blue and amber before Town home games and if our crowdfunder continues its success and exceeds £1000, there is a good chance this will become a reality sooner rather than later.
Regulation-wise, whilst in theory any flag which is within the aforementioned stadium regulations is allowed in any part of the ground, it is clear that we will have to be mindful of the wheelchair platform which is situated at the back of block 11, 12 and part of block 10. As a group we will avoid placing large flags in front of the platform and encourage people in this area who want to get involved to be mindful of those behind them. Having said that, we want to involve disabled Salop fans in our displays as much as they want to be involved. For all other supporters…
If you want to play a more active role in the pre-match displays, especially with regard to the larger flags, we encourage you to join us near the front of the safe standing section in block 9, which is where our group is already based.
Also discussed was the issue of handing out and collecting in flags. The club are happy for us to have a point for fans to collect flags before the match, near the safe standing turnstiles. Likewise, there will be collection points at each exit of the South Stand post-match for fans to leave flags behind after the game. It will be crucial to our long-term success that flags are left behind and not taken home as souvenirs, and we are confident Salop fans will respect this. The club have also confirmed that they are happy to provide storage for our flags between games, which will be much appreciated given the quantity of flags.
We are currently in the initial stages of designing our flags, and hope to have finalised designs ready to order by the time our crowdfunder closes on July 3rd. In this respect, we are grateful to the club’s media department, who have kindly offered to provide high quality vector images to help us produce the larger flags.
Finally, please continue to contribute at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/southstandflags and encourage your mates to do likewise – economies of scale mean that every pound donated from now on has an even greater impact than the last. Until next time, Come on You Blues!
The Shrewsbury Aces, we are supreme…