Ahead of tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Truro City, we would like to provide an update on the club’s matchday management relating to Covid-19.

Matchday Co-Ordinator Rob Wenham told tauntontown.com: ”Since the development and publication of our Covid-19 Risk Assessments and Supporters Guidance in order to secure the return of limited crowds, a lot has changed and we continue to learn and adapt to what seems forever-changing Laws, Rules & Guidance relating to the unprecedented times we find ourselves in. Like all clubs at Step 3 and below, we continue to face many challenges relating to welcoming crowds.”

The club have adopted a number of changes to facilitate the management of spectators including:

Strategic placement of Directional & Advisory Signage

Introduction of a Season Ticket Holders Turnstile T

The removal of seating to assist in managing Social Distancing as effectively as possible

Launch of our Eventbrite on-line ticketing system to reduce cash transactions and enable us to comply with ‘Test & Trace’

Enhancement of our Stewarding Team and Introduction of our Covid-19 Support Officers.

Closure of our internal Car Park

Provision of Hand- Sanitising Stations around the ground.

Publication of our Covid-19 Risk Assessments & Supporters Guidance on the Club’s website

Introduction of a one-way route through the stand adjoining the car park to enable supporters to change ends and trialling a ‘Funnel System’ at restricted access points.

Increasing and adapting regular Public Information Announcements over our Public Address System

Restricting numbers admitted to indoor areas including the Club SHOP

The official NHS QR code posters are displayed around the Cygnet Health Care Stadium as required

Further Pre and Post- Match measures and procedures have been adopted to further assist the management of social distancing and enhance safety. This includes having no Mascots and dispersing the crowd prior to the players and management leaving the field of play.

Rob continued: ”We continue to learn, remain adaptable and strive to ensure that we are able to maintain our current restricted capacity of 600 whilst continuing to provide the safest possible environment we can for people to come and enjoy watching the Peacocks. The support and patience shown by the ‘Peacock Faithful’ has been incredible and the willingness to get behind the Club’s efforts as well as the team are evident and is something we are all extremely grateful for, especially the respect shown to our Stewards & Covid-19 Support Officers who have had to swiftly adapt to these challenges as Volunteers.”

Support for the club has also shot up through the sale of Season Tickets, with numbers increasing massively by almost 250% in 6 weeks.

Although a wide range of measures have been implemented in order to comply with Covid-19 guidance, the situation is ever-changing. Rob concluded:” The UK Government’s ‘Rule of 6’ has become law since we were able to resume playing in front of a crowd, and  with the rule applying to indoor and outdoor settings this poses us new challenges in managing this on the terraces and seating areas around the Stadium. We have also been forced to swiftly review our Clubhouse operations with alcohol having to be ordered from and served at a table, and consumed on site. Rest assured we are currently working hard to find the right solution which will allow us to continue serving alcohol and remain compliant whilst ensuring this remains sustainable. We thank everyone for their understanding and support in helping us to comply. Now we hope to see our limited capacity of 600 reached for each home game in an environment which we are always striving to make as safe as practically possible”

Everyone can help us going forward by continuing to follow UK Government Guidance as follows

Spectators & Guests should NOT attend the ground should they have any of the following symptoms

  • A new continuous cough
  • Shortness of breath or sore throat
  • Loss of or change in normal sense of taste or smell
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Been in close contact with/living with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous two weeks.

The most important thing everyone can do is remember the basics:

Hands. Face. Space.

  • Washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • Wearing a face covering in settings where it is required and where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
  • Staying 2 metres apart from people you do not live with or 1 metre with extra precautions, such as a face covering.

Chairman Kevin Sturmey has further news regarding the provision of a bar to meet Covid-19 regulations. He said: “The club is buying a marquee to facilitate an outside bar where it will be viable to open moving forward as numbers within the indoor bar mean it is not viable to open with table service and the one way system!

“While this is another upfront cost to the club we always adapt to the changing world and will continue to do so during these very difficult times, but we also have to strive to create as normal an environment as possible. We are already planning what we can do when normality returns, and the Directors see this marquee as a future investment. Personally, as most people know, some of the new alcohol laws are going totally against the Licensing Act and I just wish people with decades of experience were consulted when making decisions which affect so many people needlessly. We all want to be safe but just applying science will not work as we all have to try to keep the economy moving and for us our bar system worked perfectly, safely, and also was easy to understand. We are not the Hospitality sector, our bar on a match day is an add-on to the football and in this modern world enjoying a couple of leisurely pints safely should be down to us as responsible Licensees to decide how we manage it.”

“I have started to campaign with Ollie Bayliss and hope the Southern League will support us by informing all the clubs of how I believe we need to “tweak” the laws for Non-League football. I have already approached our MP and been in communication with Tiverton to do the same with their MP. We have to make the Scientists, FA and Government more aware of how important Non-League football is to the community and how a match day outing in a safe environment is so important to every age, from young children to our senior supporters who love a day out and being able to buy a burger or a pint safely, sensibly and with community spirit.”