With the welcome news that some supporters will be permitted to attend football matches across the EFL, Clubs are busy making final preparations to their stadia and matchday protocol, to ensure the safety of all those who will once again be in attendance.
While a return to matchday routines may feel familiar to many supporters, the procedures Clubs now have in place, at point of sale, through to arrival at the stadium, concourse etiquette, and watching the match, will all likely be different from anything supporters have experienced before.
Of course, the responsibility is on us all within the game to maintain high safety standards, and it is important that all attendees play their part in maintaining a vigilant approach to all matchday safety processes, inside and outside the stadium.
In order to do this, as part of the Government’s Return of Fans (Stage 5) Guidance, and Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) advice, all Clubs are required to prepare and distribute a Supporters’ Code of Conduct for any match attending ticket holders
The EFL has therefore taken feedback from a number of areas, including some Clubs originally involved in the successful pilot matches in September, to develop an EFL Supporters’ Code of Conduct. The Code is not a ‘one size fits all’, and has been drafted to enable Clubs to adapt it as appropriate for their local circumstances.
Supporters’ Code of Conduct
- [As per Club’s ticket ts & cs and Government guidance] supporters are reminded if purchasing tickets on behalf of others, they are required to provide names and contact details for each individual ticket holder and tickets must not be passed on to anyone else.
- Supporters must not attend if they are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, are feeling unwell, or if they have been in close contact recently with anyone experiencing symptoms or who has tested positive. In the event you develop COVID-19 symptoms whilst at the Stadium, please notify the nearest member of Club staff immediately.
- Plan your journey in advance and arrive at the stadium in plenty of time – normal entry points might be closed and additional stadium entry procedures such as temperature testing may be in operation.
- On arrival at the ground please be aware that social distancing and safety measures will be in operation and follow all Club signage, instructions and guidance issued by stewards and/or Club personnel.
- It is Club policy that all supporters must wear a face cover when entering and exiting the Stadium. Face covers may/may not/only be removed once in your seat/standing area and/or while eating or drinking.
- Please avoid bringing large bags into the stadium and only do so if absolutely necessary, to avoid slowing down the stadium entry process.
- Please note that cash payments will only/will not be accepted inside/outside the ground.
- At all times please observe social distancing and avoid close contact with others not in your social bubble.
- Upon entering the stadium please pay close attention to signage, floor markings and instructions issued by stewards or via the club’s PA system, this will help get you where you need to be in the most efficient way.
- Some of the ground’s amenities, such as toilets, food and drink outlets, may not be in operation or may be operating at a reduced capacity.
- When using toilet facilities, please follow all guidance, be patient and considerate towards other users, and wait your turn to avoid toilets areas becoming crowded. Where possible, try to avoid peak times (such as half-time and the end of the game).
- Maintain good hand hygiene at all times around the stadium – use the sanitiser dispensers provided and avoid touching your face, or handles and railings whenever possible.
- Please remain in your seat/standing location for the full game if possible – including at half time, and avoid unnecessary movement. If you need to move, wait until gangways are clear, avoid face to face contact and follow stewards’ instructions.
- We all hope we’ll be celebrating a goal but please remember to maintain safe distances to other supporters not in your social bubble, and be respectful and mindful to those around you whose individual circumstances may differ from your own.
- Please refrain from touching the match ball if it is kicked out of play and into the stands. A member of Club staff will collect the ball in order to sanitise it and return it to the field of play.
- Supporters are kindly asked not to approach any of the Club’s or visiting Cub’s players or coaching staff at any time, as players and staff will not be able to sign autographs or pose for photographs.
- Please be patient when leaving the stadium and listen to the advice from stewards. It will take longer than normal to leave due to the procedures in place to allow supporters to exit the stadium safely and efficiently.
- The Club reserves the right to eject any supporter that fails to comply with this Code of Conduct and reminds all fans that stadium capacities may ultimately be negatively impacted as a result of any safety issues
Whilst there are a limited number of fans attending matches in December, the EFL will continue to offer the same iFollow (or Club equivalent) service for supporters who can’t attend matches to be able to enjoy games from the safety of their homes.
With over 1.5 million streams to date this season, revenue generated by iFollow goes directly back to the Clubs and supporters can purchase a match-pass for £10.
Thank you for your support and full co-operation. Please stay alert, follow these guidelines and help us all enjoy the match safely.