A new league means new challenges not just for Dos and the team on the pitch but also for our off-field team. We anticipate larger home attendances this season with more away clubs bringing significantly greater numbers of supporters than we have been accustomed to, so we have had to review our matchday procedures in line with regulations and expectations for the National League. We anticipate our car-park being full for every game. We have taken on a new car-park manager employed through G4S and matchday parking will be restricted to essential personnel (such as the opposition !) and people displaying a SUFC annual parking permit. Please remember that the car-park manager is not a Sutton person, he is a contractor and he will not recognise people – so if you have a parking pass please do display it in your windscreen otherwise you may be refused access to park. There are still a handful of passes left on sale at £50 each. The next issue we have had to consider is segregation. This is the club's decision and we will risk assess each game and make a decision based on consultations with the away club and the police. We had a very good meeting with our police liaison officer this week and put in place a set of standard guidelines on how the stadium will be run on matchdays. If visiting supporters arrive by coach, those coaches will drop off their passengers in Collingwood Road and the supporters will be guided to enter via the Collingwood Rec turnstiles. If the match is segregated, then away fans must use these turnstiles and home supporters will not be allowed to do so. We therefore suggest that home fans get into the habit of using the Gander Green Lane entrances. We aim to have all of the turnstiles open at that end, with one dedicated to season-ticket holders. We aim to have at least one turnstile here open from 1pm on Saturdays. For segregated matches, home supporters will not have access into the ground from the car-park, other than via the GGL turnstiles. Away supporters, subject to police guidance, will be welcome to use the Times Square Lounge before matches. For segregated matches, the car park entrance at the far end of the stand will be closed after kick-off and away fans will not have access to the bars at half-time or after the match. A segregation gate will be installed soon on the park-side of the stadium, at the Collingwood Road end of the covered terrace. New toilets have been provided for home supporters close to “The Shoebox” terrace. We recognise that these facilities will not be adequate to cope with all of our home support and so home supporters will also be able to use the toilets under the grandstand off the main foyer, including a new accessible wc for persons with a disability. This wc is locked and access is restricted to people with a “radar” key. Given the higher attendances and the greater number of non-playing people who will be in and around the dressing rooms and tunnel area on matchdays, we also have to look at how we can best manage risk by providing some sort of separation between spectators and players/management/tv crews etc. Our layout restricts to the one tunnel entrance and so the following procedures have been agreed with the police and will apply to all games:- Spectators will not be allowed to use the tunnel door to enter or leave the stadium before the match and until ten minutes after kick-off. The tunnel access will then be open, with stewards on duty, until half-time (when the gates will be closed as usual whilst the players leave the pitch). The tunnel will then be closed again when the referee rings the bell for the players at the start of the second half and will remain closed until five minutes after kick-off. Access by the stairs into the back of the main stand is restricted to persons with allocated seating in the centre section of the stand. We hope these arrangements are not too complicated or burdensome, we needed to find a balance between security requirements and ease of use of the stadium and its facilities on matchdays. We thank you all for your cooperation and look forward to an exciting and stress-free season.
Matchday Arrangements 2016/17
29 July 2016