Portsmouth Football Club join the rest of the football family in urging the government to allow fans to return to matches as soon as safely possible.
It was announced that some EFL clubs will be able to stage pilot fixtures with up to 1,000 supporters in attendance this weekend.
But the prime minister recently revealed that plans to allow fans to return to all matches from October 1 – albeit with a reduced capacity – were under review.
Football clubs up and down the country have been stripped of their main source of income for six months now and the simple fact is that some will not be able to survive this for too much longer.
Pompey, for example, are currently experiencing revenue losses of around 700k for every month that fans are not allowed into the stadium.
Chief executive Mark Catlin said: “Across all areas of society, there is a balancing act in ensuring the safety of the general public and the wider aspects of keeping businesses and the economy afloat.
“As long as it deemed as being safe to do so, we should be enabling the return of fans into stadiums as soon as it is possible.
"As long as it deemed as being safe to do so, we should be enabling the return of fans into stadiums as soon as it is possible."
“I speak to CEOs and owners on a daily basis and the longer we delay, we risk a ‘house of cards’ effect in regards of clubs going out of existence.
“This would be catastrophic for the many cities, towns and communities in which football clubs do so much important and needed work.”
The health and safety of all Portsmouth Football Club players, staff and, of course, supporters is paramount and everyone understands that strict guidelines must be followed.
Over recent weeks and months, there has been detailed planning to ensure fans can return to Fratton Park in a socially-distanced manner.
We have seen recent examples of supporters successfully starting to return to grounds across Europe.
The same thing now needs to happen in England to ensure the survival of the clubs we love – and the communities they support.