Club’s astonishment at Covid rules which mean you can DRINK in the bar, WATCH the game through the window but remain BANNED from watching pitch side

PUBLISHED: 14:19 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:19 17 August 2020

Wisbech Town FC chairman Paul Brenchley outside the Elgoods Fenland Stadium. 'If anybody wishes to attend today, they must promise not watch game... I'll leave that one with you boys and girls... PS....3 o'clock kick off'. Picture: ARCHANT

Wisbech Town FC chairman Paul Brenchley outside the Elgoods Fenland Stadium. 'If anybody wishes to attend today, they must promise not watch game... I'll leave that one with you boys and girls... PS....3 o'clock kick off'. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Football fans were invited to watch their home team play on Saturday – but on condition they didn’t step forward outside of the bar.

That was the strict rule in place at the Elgoods Fenland stadium – home of Wisbech Town FC- for their friendly fixture against Yaxley.

Paul Clarke, the club’s Covid compliance officer, said the rule was in force because of Government restrictions applicable to live sport.

He warned ahead of the match: “Today’s match against Yaxley the bar will be open but you will not be able to watch pitch side only club officials from both sides will be able to.

“The bar will operate on a one-way system; you come in at the main bar entrance and leave through the directors’ entrance.”

He added: “You will be able to view the pitch through the windows.

“There is a track and trace system in use so you have to leave your name and phone number on a form at the main entrance and please respect the social distance rules however the bar will have a maximum capacity so if we reach that you will not be allowed entrance.”

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Club chairman Paul Brenchley, writing on the Wisbech Town FC Discussion Forum, said: “Well this is one of the daft rules.

“Despite 1,000 spectators at Yarmouth last weekend for the stock car event, we are allowed 30 people in one side of clubhouse and 30 in other side.

“The doors and windows must be open (for air flow) but we are not allowed to watch game.”

He added: “If anybody wishes to attend today, they must promise not to watch the game... I’ll leave that one with you boys and girls... PS....3 o’clock kick off”.

Club secretary Spenny Larham explained that the FA sent proposals to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to allow fans to watch games at Steps 1-4 several weeks ago.

“The DCMS have yet to approve those plans,” he said. “This is the government’s fault, not the FA’s.”

Coach Johnny Pearce wrote: “Enough is enough, if anyone went past Kings Lynn stock car track on Saturday night you would have noticed a packed car park and loads of spectators; yet a few hours earlier 10 miles down the road a football match was played with no spectators allowed,

“Where is the difference? The government is killing non-league football; let’s get our spectators back.”


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