Blackburn Rovers dismiss Ewood Park Riverside Stand closure
7:00pm Friday 25th April 2014 in Sport
SAFETY inspectors and Blackburn Rovers have moved swiftly to squash rumours that Ewood Park’s Riverside Stand will be closed next season.
Fans on Facebook and other social media suggested the structure had failed its safety inspections and would have to shut.
Other rumours quickly swept the internet that the 4,000-seater stand would have to be replaced if the club was promoted to the Premiership, had only just met strict standards and was slowly subsiding into the adjacent River Darwen.
The Lancashire Telegraph contacted the club, the council which issues the safety certificates for Ewood Park, and the Sport Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) which oversees the inspection and certification procedure.
They were all quick to rebut the claims.
A borough council spokesman said “The council can confirm that the club still holds a safety certificate after the ground passed its annual safety inspection six months ago.
“The council and the club regularly meet to ensure the safety of Ewood Park, and at the last such meeting held in March no concerns were raised.”
A Rovers spokesman said: “The rumours are totally unfounded and the Riverside stand will be open as normal next season.”
He stressed there were no plans to replace it and no evidence of subsidence.
Rick Ryder, the SGSA inspector responsible for Ewood Park, said: “I am confident that the council are conducting their safety inspection and certification procedures correctly.”
The stand was completed in 1913 with 2,944 seats and a large terrace at the front.
In 1988 the original structure was replaced by a new stand, having failed a safety check in the aftermath of the Bradford City fire.
Further development took place in the 1990s.
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