15 October 2020

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber urges fans to write to MPs about crowds returning to football

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has called on fans to keep pestering MPs about getting fans back in stadiums.

Clubs across England have been unable to have spectators inside grounds since the pandemic swept the nation back in March.

Barber (left) - stood alongside Brighton owner Tony Bloom - admits the coronavirus has been extremely tough on the club (PA)

And while Barber believes local authorities are doing everything they can to ensure the return of crowds, he also wants supporters to keep up the pressure.

"Our local politicians know all too well how important this club is to their constituents; they learned that during our club’s fight for survival and battle for the stadium," he told the club website.

"They also know how important the fan’s voices are and have seen the tremendous benefit and impact the success of the club has had locally on so many levels, including economic, social and community.

"However, that should not stop our supporters writing to their MPs on this issue and urging them to support a safe return of fans, as soon as possible."

Barber also took the opportunity to drill home to those making the decision that the situation is taking a drastic toll on clubs around the country.

He added: "Clubs like us in the Premier League are suffering huge additional losses without fans but for clubs further down the football pyramid, the return of fans could be the difference to their very survival of this crisis. We need everyone to speak up at what is a critical time for all of us.

"If we get any indication before Christmas that we could have fans back in the stadium safely, we have got to be prepared and ready for that, and as our pilot event at the Amex showed, we are.

"If this doesn’t happen and we go into the New Year, we have still got 11 games at home [in the second half of the season]. There will still a huge amount of football for our fans to see at that point."

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