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Government Grants Permission for EFL Pilot Events
Tuesday, 15th Sep 2020 16:50

The Government has given the EFL permission for clubs to continue pilot events with up to 1,000 fans present this weekend.

Clubs were asked to put in requests to be included among a limited number of pilot games by today in order to be signed off in time.

Last week, the Government announced that the planned return of spectators from October 1st would be reviewed following an increase in coronavirus cases and that pilot events would be restricted to 1,000 supporters.

The EFL's head of policy, John Nagle, wrote to clubs this morning regarding the weekend pilots: "We cannot guarantee at this stage that all clubs that would like to stage a pilot will be given permission to do so, as only a limited number will be approved.

"We are still in discussions with regard to pilot matches on other dates.”

An EFL spokesman added that the organisation remains "in discussions with the Government about the pilot programme which may include a limited number of further pilot matches during September with capacity limited to 1,000".

He added: ”The League is clear in its view that social distancing can be applied safely in football stadia and that having crowds at matches is an absolutely essential part of helping to protect club finances, which remain under extreme pressure.

"Therefore, the successful delivery of further pilots will be an important step towards getting larger numbers of fans into grounds safely."

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is set to meet with bodies representing various sports later in the week to discuss the planned return of fans from October 1st.

The Blues are keen to hold a pilot event at either the League One match against Rochdale on Saturday 26th September or the EFL Trophy game against Gillingham on Tuesday 6th October.

Town's weekend opponents, Bristol Rovers, are reported to have opted not to request to host a pilot event this weekend.

Photo: Pagepix

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Bergholt_Blue added 17:23 - Sep 15
It will be decided by:
length of time as a season ticket holder?
geographical? those who are closest to the ground so the virus is not brought in from afar!

BlueArrow added 17:56 - Sep 15
Bergholt blue... Whether there's an R in the month?

tempzzzz added 18:21 - Sep 15
About time! I don't see why it's taken so long, the club has done everything they can to try and get things moving but the government can't make up their mind. They can let people back into gyms, theme parks, pubs and bars and so on but they can't let people into a football stadium without a pilot that they couldn't make their mind up about. I went to Thorpe Park Saturday and there was social distancing measures in place but no one was following them. Social distancing in football grounds is much easier. You space the group's 2 metres apart front and behind and side to side, if you can't get all season ticket holders in then do a lottery for each game, wear a face mask when coming in until you get to your seat, no food and drink served, portaloos in the concourses to stop congestion in the toilets, staggered entries and departures and seats sanitised by the cleaners after the games. Hope this does get the green light, can't wait to come back and have some normality in life again! Just the music venues to go now!

trulyblue added 18:57 - Sep 15
Should be decided by loyalty to the club, the number of seasons as a season ticket holder..... Top 1000 get the tickets. Hopefully 31 will be enough 🤞

londontractorboy57 added 19:54 - Sep 15
All sports should be allowed to trial not get to the date and then cancel the night before as they did with Goodwood and Doncaster races, the government need to make a decision stick with it and see if there is a large rise in cases and how to manage the cases,otherwise the countries going to go to hell in a handcart.

ArnieM added 20:00 - Sep 15
I don’t think the government really has a clue what it’s doing tbh .
2 metres apart - mask up - not allowed in if high temp / coughing . What’s difficult about it ?

You’re deemed low risk to go into work , Allowed into cinemas, restaurants , pubs , cafes so why not an open air stadium ??

armyofblueandwhite added 20:14 - Sep 15
@ArnieM Have never agreed more with a post on here before!

Edmundo added 20:18 - Sep 15
Good news. We have a stadium easily big enough to do this. Clubs need to be set up ready for when this subsides again, otherwise so many will go bust. Not just costing players jobs, but scouts, coaches, ground staff, local suppliers. . The effects of mass unemployment are going to be far reaching and longer lasting than this season as it is...

rfretwell added 08:08 - Sep 16
It has to be by ballot. It's the simplest fair way. And fully agree ArnieM.

afcfee added 11:19 - Sep 16
Such an accurate test I'm sure 2nd wave when flu season kicks in which killed more than Covid this year a couple year years ago.

Wooly74 added 12:59 - Sep 16
Love the fact that now (as well as football experts), we also have a load of pandemic experts as well on here 🤦‍♂️

Northstandveteran added 14:45 - Sep 16
I really don't see this happening.

I don't think many realise that we are already in the stages of a second wave.

The government itself has no idea of the numbers already infected with covid.

If the country wasn't in so much debt from the first hit, there would already be talk of a new lockdown.


afcfee added 17:16 - Sep 16
Wooly74 Nobody is claiming to be an expert only having an opinion unlike yourself

afcfee added 17:23 - Sep 16
Northstandveteran Liked Woolys comment then you write that. Some are really blind to the hypocrisy, take it we are only experts if we don't buy the fear-mongering news that doesn't add up to the data. There are many actual experts calling how wrong this 1 test which up to 90% could be false, is the 1 test we are letting define our way of life. You may be willing to be voiceless and watch football and general way of life ruined for corrupt pharma companies. I am not.

Northstandveteran added 17:58 - Sep 16
Bad day at work afcfee?

I got down marked often a month ago on a similar comment I posted last month saying local lockdowns would be in place by mid September.

I don't claim to be an expert but my close friend and lawyer is in constant discussions with the country's leading virologist and I'm afraid the disease is increasing at a very worrying rate.

In his words the those who are dealing with the situation behind the scenes believe the government should put the country in lockdown but won't because the country simply cannot afford it.

There are almost four thousand new cases today and that is with the testing system in total disarray.

Being on the vulnerable list having recently had a kidney transplant, I shall be taking no risks whatever, however, the behaviour of others is creating the perfect breeding ground for this virus.

As for being voiceless, I'm afraid I won't be joining any covid conspiracy marches in the near future.

Northstandveteran added 18:17 - Sep 16
Although I am going out tonight to cut down a 5G tower.

Northstandveteran added 18:18 - Sep 16
And smashing the window of my local boots chemist.

Northstandveteran added 18:19 - Sep 16
And ringing Bill Gates bell and running off before he gets to the door.

Northstandveteran added 18:24 - Sep 16
That's if I don't accidentally fall off the edge of this flat earth.

Edmundo added 20:12 - Sep 16
Science's strength is based on observation, not prediction: Carl Heneghan, professor of epidemiology and BMJ editor in chief, says risk to under 50s during the current spike is "virtually zero". I'm going with the observations, not the doomsday predictions.

afcfee added 22:27 - Sep 16
North stand you just sat with Sky news on repeat or something. At least watch Sky news Australia might see Alan Jones and learn something. Is that you going to into defense mode with unoriginal generic terms like that or have you been programmed to respond like this so don't come round to reality.

Northstandveteran added 22:44 - Sep 16
I don't and for that matter, won't give money to Rupert Murdoch's sky.
And why would I watch sky news Australia if I did?
I'm afraid that it may be yourself that needs to come to terms with reality.
As much as we all don't want another wave of infections and deaths, the current trends are suggesting it will happen.
I am afraid that is my opinion.
And I think the whole of this season will be disrupted by covid.
And I honestly don't see fans returning to professional football matches in the near future.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed tonight's match.
Goodnight 😁

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