Rochdale’s Spotland Stadium capacity has been reduced by thousands due to incomplete safety tests.
Rochdale Online report that ‘the company that runs the stadium failed to complete some of the required safety tests and inspections last year.’
The council’s head of planning services, Paul Moore said: “Due to a temporary staffing issue at the Crown Oil Arena, the stadium company failed to complete all their inspections and testing of safety related systems and provisions during 2018.
“As a precautionary measure during that period, the council temporarily downgraded the safety factors used to determine permitted spectator numbers, meaning that the maximum crowd capacity of the stadium was reduced from 9,309 to 7,447.
“The majority of the outstanding testing and inspections have now been completed to our satisfaction, so the stadium capacity has now increased to 8,844. We are confident they will be able to return to their maximum capacity once the rest of the outstanding information is submitted.”
A club spokesman added: “The stadium manager has been working closely with the council since his return, and due to our compliance over the last two months, all but a few of the outstanding documents have now been submitted and completed to the council’s satisfaction, resulting in the capacity being increased. The outstanding documents also relate to paperwork and certification matters.
“We must stress that the safety of supporters is paramount, and we would like to reassure fans that we would not have operated, or would have been allowed by the council to continue operating if there had been any concerns for supporter and staff safety on a matchday. Although we have a slightly reduced capacity, we continue to operate with the council’s full support and assistance.
“We will continue to co-operate with Rochdale Council and are confident that we will be able to return to maximum capacity once the outstanding information has been submitted to them.”