Football League One side Crewe Alexandra FC has underlined its commitment to ensuring match-days stay safe by increasing the length of the players’ tunnel.
The club has added a four metre retractable extension to an existing tunnel at the Alexandra Stadium, creating a covered walkway for players and officials stretching from the stand to the pitch-side.
The extension has been provided by us, and we also supplied the original tunnel some years ago.
Tony Green, the club’s assistant chief steward, said the original only covered a short distance from the stand, which allowed the crowd to lean over the railings either side to greet and interact with the players.
While this allowed younger fans to get closer to their heroes, it also meant that additional stewards had to be drafted in to prevent the entrance of the tunnel becoming a flashpoint at the end of a highly charged match.
The tunnel extension now ensures that the players and officials can enjoy a safe passage back to the dressing rooms, allowing stewards to be deployed elsewhere in the stadium.
Covered in the same bright red PVC as the original tunnel, it also bears the branding of the tunnel’s sponsor, ESTC, a Nantwich-based company specialising in training and stewarding in the sports industry.
Tony said: “We are keen that the fans still have the opportunity to mingle with the players when they come out during the warm-up, but for safety reasons we always extend the tunnel prior to the start of the match and again at the end.
“It works really well and is very easy for us to operate.”
Scott Jameson, Director, said: “Retractable tunnels have always provided a focal point when the players run out onto the pitch and provide a fantastic sponsorship opportunity whilst safeguarding the welfare of the players and officials.”