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Reintroduction of Spectators – New Season, New Challenge

As momentum gains for the reintroduction of spectators at an early point during the new season a lot of information is coming down from the FA, PL & EFL in terms of how we can compute our “safe” capacity.

There was an EFL webinar yesterday and a number of safety officers, who have only just returned to work following furlough are going to struggle a bit as they are not full-time employees and are going to be under pressure to maximise capacities to help clubs financially.

When we were dealing with Stage 3 (behind closed doors), there was a superb element of support among safety officers involved and a lot of this information has now been shared between Championship clubs and those in L1 & L2 who were not involved.

The “2 Daves”, Parker and Storr were among the first to get things out there and Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town, Oxford United and Portsmouth have weighed in sharing their “Social Distancing” documents. Those of you that have been active on the WhatsApp groups will have seen first hand the degree of help that colleagues are prepared to give.

The FSOA would like to see a greater degree of help from the PL clubs. You are the safety officers more likely to have been working throughout the pandemic and therefore one would think best-positioned to help. If you have any documents that you can share with colleagues, please do. We can post them on the website as we have with some of the EFL clubs or make them anonymous.

We will not breach any GDPR issues that you may be worried about. The WhatsApps have proved to be a great replacement for Forums in terms of information exchanging ideas and best practice. All you have to do is leave an instant, end-to-end encrypted message that says “Marie, can I call you to discuss your document” or “Can anyone help with a calculation for a standing terrace?” and I’m sure you will receive assistance. If you have that assistance that you can make available to colleagues, please be prepared to help them.

At the end of the day, it has always been our main aim to ensure that we promote best safety and security practices at our football stadiums and never have we been faced with an all-encompassing challenge as we have now.

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