Northampton Town Chairman Kelvin Thomas says the club will be getting more information in the coming weeks from the EFL and Government to allow for decisions to be made after the pausing of the return to fans programme on Tuesday.
The Cobblers had applied to stage a test event at the Hull City game on Saturday, but after putting a lot of procedures in place, the Government's announcement on Tuesday afternoon meant that all test events have now been paused.
"Up until around 24 hours ago James and the team were working towards and planning on having around 1,000 season ticket holders in attendance at the game on Saturday, and then a return of season ticket holders for the game on October 10th, so yesterday's announcement was both surprising and disappointing," he said.
"This is clearly a very difficult situation for everyone and the health and safety of our fans, players, staff and the country as a whole still has to remain the priority, but as circumstances are constantly changing it is important that we, as a club, take our time and make informed decisions when all information is to hand.
"It is a fine balance for us as we have made commitments and reasonable assumptions for our budget based on the information that we had at the time and we will now be looking at all ways to try and remain committed to that budget. We want to protect the budget to allow us to have the strongest and most competitive squad we can this season and to try and build on the excellent start we have made, which I think supporters appreciate.
"We also fully understand the nervousness from supporters about being able to see the team play live and we fully share that nervousness and frustration. As has been widely reported, a lack of fans for football does have significant widespread financial implications and here at Northampton Town we will also be affected if fans can’t return in the medium to long term. We do understand that Government is aware of this and is beginning to work with the main sporting bodies on solutions to mitigate the position and we know the EFL is making strong representations on behalf of all EFL clubs. We have a divisional meeting next week with the EFL and we hope to get more detail both about the return of fans and any possible rescue packages.
"We can’t thank supporters enough for their patience and good luck messages during this time and, of course, the support that they have shown the club already especially with the purchase of season tickets in uncertain times has been incredible. We are confident we have always done what is right for the club and the supporters during this pandemic and we thank supporters for the continued trust that that will continue.
"It also remains the case that when supporters are allowed back in, and even after yesterday we hope this will be sooner rather than later, that season ticket holders will at the very front of the queue and will be the first to be admitted to matches. Our commitment to supporters is that we will communicate information in detail once we have further updates from both the Government and the EFL and we really appreciate supporters allowing us the time to get that information in place.
“Finally, it is very important that we as a club and community do our bit to help get through this and we all follow the appropriate Government guidance regarding Covid-19.”