Non-league clubs to welcome back fans at reduced capacity

Action from Stratford Town's pre-season friendly defeat to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night. Photo: Mark Williamson F19/8/20/3388


THE Football Association (FA) has today, Wednesday, updated their guidelines which will see a limited return of spectators for clubs at Steps Three to Six on the non-league ladder.

As from Saturday, clubs at Steps Three to Six will be able to welcome fans back through their doors at a reduced 15 per cent of their minimum ground grading capacity.

Stage two of the return of fans to non-league grounds comes into effect from Monday, 31st August, with clubs able to operate at 30 per cent of their minimum ground grading capacity.

Therefore, the capacity is dictated by the level the club is situated at, not by the size of their ground.

So for Step Three clubs like Stratford Town, they can welcome 300 fans in from Saturday and then 600 from 31st August.

The updated guidance comes after Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed on Tuesday that clubs at Step Three and below could welcome some spectators into grounds with social distancing.

All clubs at those levels on the non-league pyramid are required to have a designated Covid-19 officer, complete and publish risk assessments and action plans as well as arranging support for track and trace efforts before welcoming fans back.

The phased and limited return of spectators at these levels of the non-league pyramid will be kept under constant review in line with the UK government’s guidelines and will be amended accordingly as required.

All of the above also applies to tiers three to four of the Women’s Football Pyramid.

For Stratford Town fans, their first taste of football this summer will come on Saturday when Yate Town are the visitors to the Arden Garages Stadium (1pm kick-off).