Maidstone United to ban away fans in limited capacity crowds of 1,255
MAIDSTONE UNITED will open the 2020-21 season with a capacity of 1,255 – subject to approval.
Following extensive guidance and Covid-secure calculations from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), the National League South club’s stadium will be temporarily remodelled and split into three specific areas:
Each area will have its own entry point and spectators will have to remain in their area for the duration of the match, where all facilities will be available.
At the start of the season there will be no provision for away fans to come into the ground.
Season ticket holders will be guaranteed entry to the matches and will have priority on FA Cup and FA Trophy tickets.
Club chief executive Bill Williams said in a statement on the clubs website: “I cannot tell you the hours of work that has gone into reconfiguring the ground for this new world we find ourselves in.
“We’ve have gone through the SGSA’s guidance with a fine-tooth comb and I would like to thank Simon Daniel and John Harvey who’ve done so much work to get us to this point.
“I know it had to be done, it’s this or nothing but the consequences are far-ranging. This restricted capacity puts us between 500 and 1,200 short on last season’s crowds and it goes against everything we’ve worked for since 2012.
“I can only apologise to those who are not able to come to games as they have done for the last eight years and ask for your understanding at this most challenging of times. As soon as we’re able to increase capacity we will make an announcement through the usual channels.
“I expect many clubs will go with no or limited away fans. On many alternate Saturdays to the first team, our excellent under 23 side will be playing matches at home and I hope we can build on the number of fans who were coming to watch their fixtures.
“We want to do all we can to involve as many of you, as often as possible and the introduction of the Stones TV streaming service is just one of those ways.”
The club are assessing the most efficient and safe way to get main stand holders in or near their old seats and this ongoing process is expected to be concluded next week. Due to the limitation on numbers, the main stand is now sold out.
Ground season tickets are available to purchase online via the club’s website.
For matchdays, any tickets left, after season ticket purchases, will be sold via the club’s online platform in advance only.
This will assist with Track and Trace requirements and to control capacity on matchdays. There will be no pay on the day option until further notice. It is envisaged that online sales will close at 10:00 on the morning of the matches or 17:00 for midweek games.
“By purchasing a season ticket or an e-ticket, supporters will be asked to read and sign up to the new code of conduct, which has additional Covid-19 rules to be followed,” added Williams.
“We want to do all we can to offer a comfortable, safe and ultimately enjoyable time in these current circumstances. Please work with us to get through these next few months and I am sure, like me, you’re longing for the day for some semblance of normality can resume.”
New entry points and Covid-19 information, including guidance on face coverings, sanitiser and social distancing, will be explained within the season ticket pack or with the e-ticket.
Maidstone United will start the 2020-21 campaign with a FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie on Saturday 3 October. Their first league game will be at home to Welling United on Tuesday 6 October.
Bradley Quinton has retained the services of midfielder Montel Agyemang, full-back Nathan Green and winger Anthony Cook.
Former Maldon & Tiptree centre-half Quba Gordon, 22, has signed for the Wings, as has striker Rowan Liburd, who has recently played for Hereford and Dartford.
Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk