There's an old curse that says "May you live in interesting times", and from a football perspective that has probably never been more true. No, we aren't talking VAR but the planning for the return of competitive football with spectators.
On Tuesday we had a very productive tour of the stadium with the local authority Licensing Officer, who has the final say on whether we can open and how many people we can let in, and it was both encouraging and daunting. Encouraging in that there is probably not anything difficult that we need to do in physical terms and most of the control measures we are looking at would probably be acceptable, but daunting in the quantity of supporting information that we need to prepare and the level of detail we require in the protocols that govern everything.
Then, when we thought we had an understanding of what to do, the Government made an unexpected announcement about spectators being allowed in from Step 3 (eg Isthmian League) and below. Unfortunately, spectators still won't be allowed into our stadium until the teams who use our pitch have prepared their own versions of the requisite protocols that can be approved by us and signed off by the Licensing Officer. What this does mean though is that, currently, our friendly at Haringey Borough is likely to see spectators allowed into the game. Thursday then saw another meeting of all National League clubs to impart more information about the measures we are required to implement.
United We Stand 2020 - Help get your club get back to action - watch out for details of this important new scheme on the website tomorrow.
More good news is that the first team will be back in training and hoping to progress through to Stage 2 next week, which works up over time to full contact training. Stage 3 would be full matches without spectators. We have already held a meeting with all of the players and staff to explain what the regulations are and how we progress from Stage 1.
It was a heart-breaking moment for some last Sunday when we had to pour away many gallons of old beer. The upside is that we should get a refund on the excise duty originally paid.
Finally, please remember that the Early Bird offer will be flying the nest at the end of the month so you only have a little over one week to take advantage of these superb prices www.suttonunited.net/season-tickets and receive priority access to the ground when crowds are permitted.
Don't miss out!