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Town Had Approval For Fans' Return
Wednesday, 23rd Sep 2020 15:10

Town had been given approval for 1,000 fans to attend Saturday’s game at home to Rochdale, and also for further matches to be played in front of significantly larger crowds, before the Government put plans for supporters to return to professional football on hold yesterday.

A document almost 100 pages long outlining the procedures and protocols which the club had put in place was approved by the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) on Monday, which gave the green light for Saturday’s game to be played in front of 1,000 fans if chosen as a pilot event by the EFL.

“We met all the safety requirements asked of us by the SAG to host a test event and the application had gone into the EFL to be considered for Saturday’s game against Rochdale,” matchday safety officer Mick Warden told the club site.

“If we had been selected by the EFL, that would have meant 1,000 fans back at Portman Road for Saturday.

“Providing our test event had gone according to plan - and there is no reason to suggest otherwise - we would have been in a position to accommodate more supporters in align with the Covid-secure protocols.

“Obviously the Government’s announcement has put a hold on the return of supporters. It’s disappointing but the health and safety of all is clearly the main concern.”

It's speculated that fans may now not be back on the terraces for another six months, a situation EFL chairman Rick Parry says is a huge concern for the game.

“Following the successful return of supporters to seven fixtures on Saturday, the EFL is disappointed at yesterday’s decision to suspend plans for the return of fans to matches,” he said.

“Of course we recognise that the UK is facing a significant public health crisis and that sport has to play its part in helping the Government manage the spread of the virus at this difficult time.

“This is why over many months we have helped the Government devise, refine and pilot stringent stadium protocols designed to keep supporters safe.

“Staging professional football matches is one of the most heavily regulated areas of crowd management and any supporters attending EFL fixtures, in vastly reduced numbers, would have been required to adhere to social distancing and the rule of six.

“Therefore we are deeply frustrated that we will not be able to continue this work and, in doing so, gather the evidence to show that crowds can return safely to football and become an important financial lifeline for our clubs.

“As a matter of urgency we now need to understand what the Government’s roadmap is for getting supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

“With extended measures introduced, it is imperative that the financial issues facing our clubs are addressed quickly. EFL clubs lost £50 million last season as a result of playing matches behind closed doors or curtailing the season and stand to lose a further £200 million in 2020/21 should we be required to play the whole season without supporters in grounds.

“I am encouraged that the Government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance for sport and discussions will continue with DCMS and the Premier League.

“We remain optimistic that a solution will be found but we should also be very clear that if it is not, then the outlook for many clubs in the period ahead will be very challenging."

Photo: Action Images

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SamWhiteUK added 15:14 - Sep 23
Town had approval to apply for fans' return

ArnieM added 17:17 - Sep 23
Sorry to say that’s all irrelevant now.

afcfee added 17:29 - Sep 23
The protest in London Saturday seems like a good shout

Bergholt_Blue added 18:08 - Sep 23
Thanks for sharing that... could you have hired Jim Bowen to “show us what we could have won”.

TractorRoyNo1 added 18:38 - Sep 23
Having seen pics of Scum fans last week, I certainly would not have gone to PR in those conditions.

Icantbelieveyousaidt added 21:07 - Sep 23
afcfee - will you get there in time after your paper round? Will your pocket money stretch to the train fare.......play nicely with the other children if you do manage to make it.

Blue_Again added 21:37 - Sep 23
Everybody knows this lockdown is a load of Marxist sh1te

itfchorry added 22:42 - Sep 23
Take me back to the 70’s, when we didn’t have
some of the terrible generation that has been created.

Very poor comments are now sadly a daily occurrence,


Northstandveteran added 23:09 - Sep 23
80 years since the battle of Britain.

Never was so much owed by so many to so few.

It's a shame that so few want to ruin the lives of so many.

bobble added 09:16 - Sep 24
i guess if people keep voting for uncombed fascist nincompoops then when a pandemic comes along everyone suffers...

BangaloreBlues added 11:41 - Sep 24
Surprised so many Town fans can't see through this BS and those that can get so many down votes.
You can go to a pub and mix with people at close quarters, get drunk, spit everywhere through talking, but you can't go to a football match with real social distancing in place. Many clubs will now fold without financial support. Leagues One and Two could be decimated with just a two-tiered football structure left for the rest to fight over.
If you actually turn off your stupid TV and go do some real research, you will find the stats don't support the measures.
Last month it was eat out to help out, with millions mixing at close quarters without masks, but the "second wave" is blamed on "selfish" people and those that didn't isolate. Plastic screens are useless since the virus is in the air, as are those ridiculous face shields, and even the masks are proven scientifically not to work or have any affect.
This virus is here to stay, like the flu, and there is little we can do. If you think lock downs and the total destruction of livelihoods and businesses are worth it, when in the long run everyone will get this like they do the flu, then you have your eyes closed.
Massive increase in suicides, domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse. etc, but apparently that's all okay, as are the thousands that are dying from cancelled treatments.
As it's been said many times - turn off your TV, go outside and ask yourself, "Is there a pandemic?"
The government are doing this only so they keep their jobs, all the while being told what to do from certain well-known people and organisations who have their own agenda that involves massive profit from lost business and pumping toxic chemicals into our bodies, which will have no affect against a mutating virus.
So, go on, keep that TV on and continue to be brainwashed with bs!
I expect a backlash from these comments and a lot of down votes, but that is a small price to pay for trying to wake up those who are fast asleep.
Instead of thinking about your self-righteousness, think about your kids and what the future has in store for them if these fascistic laws continue to be allowed to destroy every freedom we have.

algarvefan added 12:10 - Sep 24
A friend suggested we all post this which I think is a good idea. There is also a statistic that depression has increased country wide by 50%..I imagine that's the lower end......"The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020. Mental health issues related to our lock down and the pandemic are especially hard for people with depression.
MIND has a 24-hour helpline: 0300 123 3011
Please will you share on your social media platforms, thank you.

All any of we individuals can do is try and look after each other, I wear a mask because my doctor friend says I should, I try to socially distance where I can, I don't want to have C-19 or spread it to anyone else all the other stuff is just political bulls**t. We are being led up the garden path by an incompetent government who wants to shift the blame to the people, so just follow basics and stay safe people.

Orraman added 13:06 - Sep 24
Seems so strange that a group of 6 can meet in a pub but 1000 in Portman Rd would hardly be noticed. We could accommodate 5000 totally safely with widespread distancing. Even the few idiot fans that every club have would have to behave and obey protocols because any misdemeanours would ensure they would not be in any ballot for future tickets or have their season ticket withdrawn.
The real problem of course lies outside the ground as more difficult to steward. From what I saw on Look East on Monday there was absolutely no distancing at Carrot Rd, but I guess that is 'Normal for Norfolk' as they are all allegedly one happy family

afcfee added 13:29 - Sep 24
You joke but some people won't be able to afford the fair the way we are heading. When we see major job losses and teams folding after Xmas wonder if will still crack the same jokes. Regardless of accuracy of tests or hospital admissions will will still keep listening to a few experts who literally have shared in vaccine companies ffs 🤔

afcfee added 13:29 - Sep 24

afcfee added 13:33 - Sep 24

afcfee added 13:38 - Sep 24
Forgot to put "experts" in apostrophes.

Northstandveteran added 13:45 - Sep 24
On a lighter note.

It's great to see that Norwich have finally got a statue.

Admittedly it's only Alan Partridge, but a statue nonetheless.

Icantbelieveyousaidt added 13:58 - Sep 24
Excuse me this is not the forum!.......and yes for goodness sake, lighten up. It is always good to hear from our friends in India and Portugal, but trust me they are not representative of the general opinion in the UK. We have all had the innocence of youth and a belief in conspiracy theories; but most of us have grown up by now. Oh and afcfee, I too have shares in GSK; have held them for a long time. I guess you only read those publications that support your beliefs.
Back to football - have signed up for the game on Saturday using my allocated code - all good to go.

Alan_Essex added 14:32 - Sep 24
Jeez, spot on Icant... all up for a bit of a debate, but really?! Out of 9,000 season ticket holders and around 17,000 regulars at home, I hope to god these posts aren't representative of the average bloke, woman or kid who just go to watch football and support the team we love. Aren't we losing the plot a little here?! It is what it is - across Europe not just in the UK - I'm a season ticket holder of over 40 years at Portman Road, and this sucks more than anything else I've ever known, as it does for everyone - but we're stuck with it. Conspiracy theories or not, political preferences or not, all I want to see is another 3 points on Saturday and have booked my match pass to watch it as best I can and support the boys as best I can. Get over yourselves guys.

LWNR2013 added 14:57 - Sep 24
Ican...... def a much slicker process to allocate the code for Saturday than the last one👍

LWNR2013 added 15:01 - Sep 24
I never knew Alan Partridge played for them up the road !

LWNR2013 added 15:51 - Sep 24
Alan...don’t know how that happened, makes you up and down!

Meant it to be up.

alfromcol added 16:25 - Sep 24
Plenty of money in the "bloated Premiership" to bail out all the lower clubs. Transfer fees of £50m £80m etc etc. No need to ask the Government, let/force some of that money feed down into the lower divisions. A few weeks of Garath Bale's money could keep a couple of lower division teams going for the season? Perhaps the Premiership could set up a Lower league charity?

Edmundo added 21:13 - Sep 24
Bangalore you are spot on. Conspiracy theory is a phrase used to put every dissenting voice in the same pot. Is Professors Karol Sikora, David Spiegelhalther and Carl Heneghan all conspiracy theorists at their UK univerisites? This is, as a mate of mine so eloquently put it, BS. Watch as we are finally "allowed" into PR, and pray we get our liberty back, as well as our football.

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