Concerns over restrictions to Shay stadium capacity

FC Halifax Town Supporters Club have expressed their concern at the financial implications of the capacity at The Shay being restricted to around 1,000 spectators due to COVID-19.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 10:04 am
The Shay Stadium, Halifax

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Susan Press, said: “Restrictions on capacity for sporting events are being applied nationally due to COVID-19. Our capacity assessment for the Shay Stadium is based on Government guidance; this states that spectator limits must be in place to allow for social distancing, not only within the stands, but also in concourse areas and when travelling to and from the venue.

“Risk assessments will continue and we’ll keep our sports clubs fully updated of any changes to national policy.”

In a statement, the FC Halifax Town Supporters Club said: “The Supporters Club recognises that all sports grounds are to be operated with significantly reduced capacities, at least on a temporary basis.

“Determination of capacities is inevitably a complex procedure, complicated further by the fact that directives have been made by both Government and football authorities.

“We hope and expect the organisations making use of these directives across the country adopt a sensible and consistent approach when determining capacities, and not have individual, wildly varying interpretations.

“While the Supporters Club has little information regarding the rationale behind any calculations, we note that the EFL anticipate grounds similar in size to our own Shay Stadium operating at around one-third capacity; a calculation based on the one metre distancing rule, which results in two empty seats between each full one.

“While accepting that this is somewhat simplistic, we are concerned to hear suggestions that the Shay’s capacity could be set as low as one-tenth capacity, which if correct would put the Town’s professional football club at a serious financial disadvantage compared to their competitors.

“We understand that discussions continue, and it is our sincere hope that the club and Public Health Calderdale can work together to achieve a workable resolution.”

FC Halifax Town said they were hopeful for a positive outcome to help protect football in Calderdale.