Daily Mail

Wednesday refuse crowd cap order


SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY have challenged the stadium capacity reduction imposed on them after a safety review heard of overcrowdi­ng. Remarkably, the club have indicated that the 1,000 reduction in fans allowed inside Hillsborou­gh’s Leppings Lane end — imposed after Newcastle fans had to carry children on their shoulders from a crowded concourse at an FA Cup tie on January 7 — was not something they were willing to introduce. Their declaratio­n came after Sheffield City Council issued a statement saying the club had voluntaril­y reduced the Leppings Lane capacity while the review was undertaken. The council also revealed there had been discussion of a ‘formal’ reduction until the end of the season.

The club and council chose not to disclose this until a request was made by Newcastle and the findings — with 15 recommenda­tions to improve supporter safety — were returned by the council’s Freedom of Informatio­n officer and published on Monday. Prior to Newcastle revealing the findings, Sportsmail made requests for the details but were ignored. Without Newcastle, it is believed the findings would not have been made public. Sheffield City Council confirmed the Owls had challenged the ruling.

The authority’s Richard Eyre said: ‘Although there was no immediate recommenda­tion to do so, the club voluntaril­y offered to reduce capacity. The council agreed this was the right thing to do prior to a robust review and since then the request has become a formal requiremen­t.’

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