NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL enthusiast, Peter Dudley, is delighted that common sense has prevailed and fans will once again be admitted to clubs below the National League North and South level.
A sizable number of supporters backed online petitions supporting the cause, using the slogan #LetFansIn, while more than 30 MPs urged sports minister, Nigel Huddleston, to ease restrictions, mindful that clubs – often at the heart of a community – could fold and disappear forever.
“It’s brilliant news and about time too,” Dudley told Yellow Sport.
“I’m pleased to see the non-league community come together, forcing the authorities to see sense.”
Dudley continued: “The situation was costing my local club, Southend Manor, dearly.
“Financially, it was crippling the club. We have already seen Droylsden withdraw from the Northern Premier League and they are a considerably bigger club than the likes of Manor. It has all been very worrying.
“Clubs like Manor don’t get huge crowds, sometimes less than 50, so social distancing within the ground isn’t going to be a problem. But for those few fans who come along to see the likes of Manor, Great Wakering Rovers and Hullbridge Sports, it is very often the highlight of their weeks, offering a release and is sometimes support for their mental wellbeing.
“Our Southchurch Park ground will have all the guidelines in place, ready to sensibly welcome people back through the turnstiles. Hopefully, the current climate will improve further allowing fans back into stadiums at all sporting arenas, sooner rather than later.”