Could Boston United kick off season with fans in attendance? National League asks Government to let in up to 1,000 supporters

First competitive games on October 3...
Could socially distanced fans be watching Boston United kick off the season?Could socially distanced fans be watching Boston United kick off the season?
Could socially distanced fans be watching Boston United kick off the season?

Could Boston United kick off the season with fans watching?

National League chairman Brian Barwick has today written to the Government asking for the new campaign to begin with up to 1,000 fans allowed to attend matches.

The letter asks Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ask the Government, to carefully consider how its pending decision on the return of fans to football grounds will affect its clubs, their employees, and local communities.

The National League has also asked the Government for permission to commence the new season with fans in attendance - with social distancing and other Covid secure measures in place.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the National League has closely adhered to Government policy and fully recognises the overwhelming necessity to protect people's health and well-being.

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on July 17 that Government intended to bring back audiences in stadia from October, each club has started to prepare for the 2020-21 season.

The National League has set the start date as October 3, although National League North and South sides will begin on October 6, playing FA Cup ties on October 3.

In readiness for the safe return of spectators, National League clubs have calculated their ground's new socially-distanced capacity.

Whilst crowds could be accommodated up to a level of 20-30 per cent of each stadium's normal capacity in accordance with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority guidance, the National League has asked the Government to allow up to 1,000 spectators in all grounds from October as a temporary solution that is validated by the Government’s approved pilot events conducted in September.

Mr Barwick commented: “The National League restart depends upon crowds being allowed back in stadiums as live attendance is our clubs’ largest source of income.

"The Government urgently needs to set out a credible pathway for the safe return of supporters, and to ensure our football clubs can continue to function, and to perform their significant role in the sporting life of the country. We are proud to be a national competition with strong local connections.”