Club Announcement: Friday 21st August
Firstly, we are delighted that supporters are to be allowed to return to the Flamingo Land Stadium and we have been working hard for some time now to ensure the safety of everyone when that return happens.
One of the steps we have taken is to carry out a risk assessment of the stadium using expert advice and this is available to view on our website. This document will be updated as and when we receive notification of any changes to guidance.
Whilst safety is our priority we are disappointed with the current limit that has been set for attendance at our games and we have made our views known to our league, the FA, and the Government, because the new guidance for maximum crowds is based on the minimum capacity for our level (1,950) and not on our actual ground capacity (2,833).
Therefore, we must first play a fixture at 15% which is 300 supporters to test our systems and then our maximum attendance is set at 600 until the end of September at which time we have been assured the capacity will be reviewed. This could of course mean that it might be reduced but we would hope if the Covid situation doesn’t worsen it would increase. It will be up to us to prove that our supporters can return to football safely and can adhere to the rules. Any non compliance could easily cause our ground to be closed down. It is also worth noting that we must comply with league rules by allowing away supporters a minimum of 15% of the reduced capacity which equates to 90 per match. Please be assured we will be liaising with visiting clubs to minimise this number where possible. This rule applies to all clubs so before travelling to away fixtures you would be advised to check that you will be able to get in.
As many of you know our attendances for the last three seasons have averaged over 1,000 so it’s quite clear that we will not be able to accommodate everybody who wants to attend every match. Season ticket applications are currently running above last year, but we have not reached our limit yet and the application process is still open. The deadline for season ticket applications is midnight on Wednesday 26th August.
We will be looking to contact applicants late next week to confirm their purchases. For supporters that might find purchasing a full season ticket restrictive, we are looking to make smaller batches of tickets available. One of the things we are putting in place for supporters that can’t get into the ground, is the live streaming of as many matches as we can. This will be done via a “pay per view” channel to allow us to recoup some of the lost revenue due to the capacity limit and allow as many of our supporters to watch our games.
The good news is we are not in debt and we are not over committed going forward. Unlike some other clubs we have taken a prudent approach to the extended close season and we have not spent any of this season’s sponsorship, or season ticket income to keep us going. This has been enabled by the many fundraising activities and particularly the tremendous uptake on the monthly Boro Draw, which has covered a large proportion of our fixed costs. All this means that we are able to fully control what we spend going forward and not put our club at risk.
So although there’s lots to be frustrated about, we also have much to look forward to:
- We can now plan some home friendlies with at least some supporters in attendance.
- Over the next couple of weeks we will be announcing next season’s kits, along with some new sponsors.
- The new kits will be on sale shortly after they are announced.
- League fixtures will be announced on or around the 28th August.
- Our AGM is on the 18th September.
- The League season starts on the 19th September.
We will keep everyone updated throughout the coming weeks as we move towards the start of the season.
“Up the Boro”