Online petition launched to allow footbal fans to attend matches at all levels
Football fans of Elite football clubs have been asked to sign a petition to allow fans to attend matches of all levels of our game.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the UK population to attend indoor cinemas to keep the industry in business but he has ignored the plight of our beloved EFL and National League clubs.
Clubs that play (in our region) in the Isthmian Premier Division are allowed to let in 600 supporters into their grounds, while the next level down you can have 400 and 300 for the Southern Counties East Football League.
However, the National League Kent derby between Bromley and Dover Athletic at Hayes Lane this evening is being played behind closed doors, with the home club screening the fixture online.
Dover Athletic were forced to issue an apology after their live streaming service cut out during their impressive 1-0 home win over Notts County at the weekend.
However, supporting lower league football is all about standing on the terraces and offering your local teams real proper support.
Over 12,000 signatures have already offered their support to an online campaign to Allow football fans to attend matches at all levels.
If 100,000 signatures are reached then the subject will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Chatham Town and Sheppey United – big hitters in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division – the ninth-tier of English football both travel to National League South sides in The FA Cup Third Qualifying Round next midweek.
However, as Havant & Waterlooville and Eastbourne Borough are both considered Elite, both games will be played behind closed doors, as things currently stand.
This is our chance to help change that and get the UK Government to #letfansin.
Can you imagine if Chatham Town or Sheppey United reach the First Round and are drawn at home to League One neighbours Gillingham – the game would only have 300 paying spectators and a zero attendance if the game was to be played at Priestfield.
Football is all about the fans. Without fans football is nothing and it will be a weird feeling to report on Sheppey United’s biggest FA Cup tie in recent years without you at Priory Lane next Tuesday.
Petition organiser Ashley Greenwood said: “Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such an employment and other important aspects of life.
“Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.
“Due to the current issues around Covid, places such as France and Germany now allow a percentage of fans to return to football fans.
“I ask for the support of this petition as I fear that smaller clubs in particular will go out of business leading to a devastating effect on people.
“This petition is to ask the Government to reconsider their judgement on not letting football fans back into the stadiums and reconsider doing this with the right safety measures in place surrounding the Covid-19.”
In National League South, Hampton & Richmond Borough travel to St Albans City tonight and their manager Gary McCann, who backs this campaign, said on Twitter: “Game 1/40 of season 2020-21. In many years of management, I can’t tell how peculiar it feels to be experiencing this without fans in an empty stadium. Still oddly looking forward to it. Maybe that’s to do with this special group of players.”