Possible spectator admission trial for Chesham United home friendly on Tuesday 8th September (7.45pm)
Earlier this week the government confirmed that non-league clubs at Step 3 and below could now consider opening their gates to supporters, and have amended their guidance to allow for the gradual return of spectators at matches involving clubs at Steps 3 and below in the pyramid. This was followed by the FA and the Isthmian League issuing their own, more specific, revised guidelines for the phased and limited return of spectators.
Taking account of all available guidance in relation to Covid-19, the Enfield Town Board has since been working on viable options for enabling a phased reopening of the QEII Stadium, subject to comprehensive risk assessments being completed, including adequate track and trace arrangements.
Although many will welcome the return of spectators at the earliest opportunity, clubs at our level are permitted to work within a timeframe to ensure that risk identification and management is completed, and that necessary associated precautions and procedures are firmly in place. Each ground – in our case the QEII Stadium – will be subject to its own unique set of circumstances.
The Board has decided that it would be feasible to allow a fixed number of spectators, with very limited facilities, into the QEII Stadium to watch the scheduled home friendly against Chesham United on 8th September on a trial basis. The number of spectators allowed in would need to be restricted to 100. Specific on-the-day facility and other limitations will be issued nearer the time.
There are, however, a number of significant hurdles to negotiate before this theoretical opening can become reality:
- There will need to be 20 stewards in place for this game. The club are, therefore, appealing to supporters to put their names forward – via a form at https://etfc.london/expressing-an-interest-to-be-an-etfc-steward by 24th August if at all possible – in order to help the club stage this pilot open-to-the-public match. Without sufficient stewarding, the match cannot take place. Role allocations and training will be given in advance.
- The match will be all ticket. The phasing of application for tickets will be as follows:
- #GoToTown subscribers (where the package includes a season ticket)
- ETFC Supporters Society members
- Non-member season ticket holders
There will be no other phased ticket categories permissible for this game. All tickets will cost £6, except that one accompanied child can be admitted, with a ticket holder, for £1 upon request. Accompanied children will need to be supervised. There will be a very limited number of away supporters, who will be ticketed separately, allowed in. Tickets will be available online only, and applicants will be issued with a digital (quick response code) e-ticket which can be swiped at the gate on a mobile phone or be printed out for entry. Details to follow.
- The club will need to comply with all Covid-19 guidance, and in particular in relation to social distancing and any local restrictions that may be introduced. But all spectators nevertheless need to be fully aware that attendance at the match is entirely at their own risk. You must follow government guidelines and self-diagnose before travelling to the Stadium. If you are experiencing any symptoms which may be related to Covid-19, you should not travel and should follow NHS advice. At the Stadium you agree to respect others, abide with social distancing guidelines, and follow all advice given by ETFC stewards. This will be a vital part of the trial as the club considers further easing of numbers for future matches.
- The matchday experience at the QEII Stadium will not be as our supporters will remember! Please take on board all advice before, during and after the match – assuming it goes ahead – as the club looks to do the right thing, incrementally, with the safety of all in mind. For this pilot event it is likely that the main stand will be closed, while the smaller north stand will have limited, socially distanced, seating available. Further announcements about changes to the way we will operate initially will be made in due course, but please bear with us as we develop our procedures in the light of experience!
- The lessons learned from the staging of the Chesham match, hopefully with spectators, will be applied for future matches. Currently these are scheduled to be a home friendly against Welling United on 12th September and any confirmed competitive matches thereafter. Feedback will be made available to supporters as soon as is practicable. The signs are positive, but supporters should be ready for subsequent steps to be impacted.
Between now and our own trial, other clubs may make specific arrangements for entry to matches. If that is the case for any Town away games, the ETFC website and social media will refer to the specific arrangements that have been put in place as soon as possible.
The club need your help to make this happen!