You will all by now know that yesterday, the Government amended their guidance on spectators which will allow the gradual return of spectators at matches involving Clubs at Steps 3 (our level) and below in the National League System.

The return of spectators is conditional on all Clubs undertaking the guidance provided, and also spectators playing their part by ensuring they follow the Social Distancing measures put in place at the Club they are visiting.

We have had to ensure certain compliances before we are able to permit spectators to attend games at Top Field again:

  • We have completed a Risk Assessment and uploaded this on to our website. We needed to do this before we can stage a game – with or without spectators.
  • We needed to put in place measures to support NHS Test and Trace for spectators, a mandatory requirement from the FA. This is the reason why, like a number of clubs, it will now be necessary to purchase tickets in advance of the game – it is the safest and most reliable way of collecting the necessary data. There will be no entry on the day of the game for any spectator who has not purchased a ticket in advance.

Our first game back at Top Field will be in front of a maximum of 300 spectators, or 15% of the ground capacity set for Step 3 Clubs (1950). If we can successfully prove that we can stage a game with that capacity of spectators, and that social distancing is maintained throughout the game, we will be permitted to stage games in front of 30% of the ground capacity set for Step 3 Clubs (or 600 spectators).

We have spent much time discussing and planning how we see the match day operation will work at Top Field, and our Covid –19 plans are published here for anyone who would like to know how things will be operating on our return to Top Field.

How things pan out in the future is down to all of us…….but we can’t stress enough how much we are relying on all of you, the spectators who attend future games, to ensure that you respect all of the measures the Club has had to put in place and particularly ensure that you comply with our Social Distancing rules at all times. Then we can hope that we will be in a much stronger position in the future to return to something like “the new normal”.

Volunteer Help Needed
We have all heard the great news that Football can start allowing spectators back to games! Whilst we await confirmation of the season start date, we have had to put processes in place that will ensure that spectators entering Top Field can do so in an environment that minimises risk of the spreading of Covid-19. We have completed Risk Assessments, plans and are currently putting all practical measures in place in the ground to make sure this can happen.

But our biggest single challenge is that to safely accommodate the number of spectators we are allowed to permit, we need more volunteers willing to help on match days. If we don’t get more help we may have to make further restrictions and more tough decisions. We need reliable match day marshalls and volunteers willing to clean toilet facilities at regular intervals.

The attached poster displays the assistance we need to find, for every match day. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping your local community club please contact Kate Deller either via email by clicking here or by telephone on 07966 366664

Thanks for your time, and we truly appreciate any assistance you might be able to offer us.

BY CHRIS NEWBOLD AND KATE DELLER