From every non league football fan…
Come on FA. Come on the DCMS. Sort this out for us. We are ready now. It’s time. Let fans in.
We got it, we listened, we stayed away but now after seeing all around us going about their daily lives and getting back to normal, we need to do the same.
Us non league football fans need to start watching our beloved game again and we need to do it quickly. Before our Clubs disappear. Yes, it’s that serious.
Many more will soon follow in the path of Droylsden and have to call it a day – 128 years of history down the drain.
While we were at first grateful that football was allowed to return ‘Behind Closed Doors’, it’s just not substainable like that at this level, and we need to now take the next step.
Our Clubs missed out on a lucrative spell when COVID came along. End of season games mean higher attendances and Cup Finals. The summer is a time for profitable Functions and Tournaments while pre-season can often mean a home game or two against a higher level local side which attracts a big paying audience.
All of this additional revenue has been missed out on and Clubs are on their knees – both financially and metaphorically – begging that fans be let in, and soon, so that they can continue to be the community asset and hub that they have been for such a long time.
Of course, these are different times and changes need to be made to allow the safe return of football – but every Club is willing to make them so long as supporters can return in some way or another.
Stadium limits are fine. Whether it be as a percentage of capacity or a set limit this is understood, we just need to get those turnstiles spinning and the beer flowing again.
The role that Football Clubs play in their local communities is huge, with football being an outlet for so many. The Players and the Management need that competitive buzz that is increased in front of a live audience, however big, and the supporters need it too. It’s a release, it’s fun and we need it.
Away from football, we cram on to Buses, Trains and Tubes to go to work before heading to pubs or restaurants in the evening – yet we can’t go to an open air football ground. It is crazy and not helped when you see the thousands of people flock to beaches like we have done over the past few weeks. It makes no sense.
Some football clubs have welcomed the return of customers inside their bars and Clubhouses recently – yet if there is a game on outside people can’t spread out around a 100m long pitch to watch it! How does that make any sense? We are not talking big numbers needed to attend just to keep Clubs alive!
Non League Football is made for Social Distancing. Many of us like to spread out away from others when watching a game. Most like their own space and non league football is perfect for accommodating this.
The volunteers at Clubs have worked so hard in preparation for a return of us into their grounds. Risk Assessments have been drafted, printed and posted online. Masks and Hand Sanitiser have been purchased, safety measures are in place, money has been spent and Clubs are ready. They now just need the go-ahead to let us in.
So please, decision makers, DCMS, FA, sort this one out for us.
We just ask for us supporters to be allowed back in to watch Non League football as soon as possible – however many restrictions and regulations you need to apply.
We need to get back around the touchline and clubs want us to come back – as we are worried – that if there is no change soon, there will be nowhere to go back to – and that can’t be allowed to happen.