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Chairman Kelvin Thomas hopes short term pause might help bigger numbers attend matches in future

22 September 2020

Northampton Town Chairman Kelvin Thomas is disappointed that the Government have paused the programme that was working towards allowing spectators back to matches from October 1st, but he says the club will continue working towards having supporters back at matches before too much longer.

"Overall football as a whole is disappointed that the return of supporters programme has been paused and it is tough to understand but we accept we don't have the full scientific data that the Government has," he said.
"The pilot games went well but we also understand it doesn't look right to allow football in to stadiums while extra restrictions are being implemented on the wider public.
"As a club, we did a lot of work to get ready for this weekend with our local Safety Advisory Group. We had applied to be a trial game against Hull City on Saturday and we were ready to go. That isn’t happening now because of the Government announcement but of course we want to get fans back as soon as possible.
"The word is that this is only a pause at the moment and we want that review to be ongoing. While the pause will have a short term impact, some of the conversations around it might actually have a long term benefit. If the COVID numbers come under control, we might be able to get to bigger numbers of supporters in stadiums quicker than through the trial process we were going through.
"We saw a similar situation here in Florida. A month ago cases were going up but the deaths and number of hospitalisations didn't go up as expected and things stayed calm and the situation has improved here in the last few weeks. Hopefully there will be a positive way out of things in England too but we need to follow the guidelines and get supporters back in stadiums as soon as possible.
"A large number of season ticket holders have said they are happy to keep supporting the club and that's great. We will keep things under review and keep monitoring the situation.  We won't rush in to anything, we will stay in touch with the EFL and the Government and follow the guidelines but we want supporters in as soon as we can and as soon as it is safe to do so and that is what we are working towards."

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