ACCRINGTON Stanley will begin work in January on the 800 extra seats needed by May 2009 for the club to stay in the Football League.

Commercial manager David O’Neill has revealed the club will build around 400 seats in the Whinney Hill terracing (or what is known as the ‘cowshed’).

And then around 600 seats will be built at the front of the Clayton End - leaving space at the back for where the Stanley "Ultras" stand.

Stanley need to have 2,000 covered seats in place according to Football League guidelines after three years in League Two.

The Reds had originally hoped to turn the whole of the Whinney Hill side into a new stand, working in conjunction with the Football Trust, but that would have cost around £300,000, with some of the money from a grant.

Instead the current plans should cost the cash-strapped club around £30,000 and could be implemented with the minimum disruption.

Chief Executive Rob Heys said: "One way or another we need to make sure that we have 2,000 seats under cover at the Fraser Eagle Stadium by 1 May, 2009.

"In reality we need to get them in place around a month before then to ensure that the people at Lancashire County Council have plenty of time to amend our safety certificate.

"Of course we would love to build the large main stand in place of the current Whinney Hill Terrace, however the quotes we got for this were in excess of £300,000.

"Admittedly this could have been offset against income that the new structure may have been able to generate, however at this moment in time we are still looking at our current location and deciding whether this is the place that we need to be to continue to move forward as a football club. There is no point spending money on something that is only going to be around for a few years.

"This still leaves us with the problem of needing to make sure that we install the seats by the deadline and so General Manager David O’Neill has spent hours working out various solutions, with the main factors of cost and timescale first and foremost in his mind.

"To keep both of these to a minimum we have looked to fit seats into existing structures to eliminate the need for expensive building work and time consuming planning permission.

"The solution that has been arrived at is to seat the Whinney Hill Terrace with just under 400 seats which will be used by away supporters on match days, and to fit the remaining 500 or so in the bottom half of the Sophia Khan Terrace behind the goals.

"This satisfies the requirements of the League and hopefully keeps our fans on side by leaving the top half of the terracing in place.

"The vocal support the team gets from behind the goals is something that the manager and players regularly comment on and so it is essential that we accommodate those who wish to stand.

"As with all the ground changes in the last few years, we do rely on the understanding of our supporters in that we have to carry out this operation on a budget and, with unlimited funds, it would be done differently."

Chairman Eric Whalley did write to the Football League asking for special dispensation not to build the seats as they wouldn’t be used due to the low attendances at Stanley but he was told rules are rules.

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