Accrington Stanley and the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST) have both issued statements regarding the return of fans to the Wham Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the club’s pre-season friendly against Preston North End.
Saturday’s game will be the first time in 504 days that fans have been able to watch a game at the Wham Stadium, and both the Reds and the OASST want everyone to enjoy the occasion in the safest possible way.
The club’s statement:
We cannot wait to be able to open the turnstiles at 1.30pm on Saturday to welcome the Stanley fans back into the Wham Stadium after 504 days away. The friendly against our neighbours PNE will open the new season and be the first step to watching live Sky Bet League One football as the Stanley family once again.
The club are still using the same COVID-19 Protocols, albeit as recommendations rather than enforcement, which were introduced for what should have been the return of fans way back in September 2020. Although not mandatory, we recommend that supporters, in everyone’s best interest, take the opportunity to ensure everyone has a safe, relaxed, and enjoyable experience.
You will find hand sanitisers, track and trace QR codes, and extra cleaning personnel around the place as we all feel our way back into watching live football again. It is not mandatory to use any of the options we are providing, but they are there just in case you need them for peace of mind. We also recommend that you take a lateral flow test prior to arriving at the stadium and if you do feel unwell at any time before, or during the game, we will have medical staff on hand to attend to you if needed.
We take our COVID-19 social responsibilities very seriously and simply ask that you all look after yourself and those around you on the terraces and in the seating by respecting everyone’s personal preferences, whether it is mask wearing or social distancing – all we want is everyone to stay safe!
We want this game to be a ‘return to football festival’ and as such we will be relaxing usual EFL regulations and will be inviting the PNE supporters to join us for a beer in the Fanzone Marquee via the Studio.co.uk Stand (Eric Whalley Stand), at half-time and at the end of the game.
Small steps in the right direction will make a big difference over the coming weeks and months as indoor and outdoor sporting events continue to be under the Government’s watchful eyes.
The OASST’s statement:
Football supporters up and down the country will welcome the opportunity to return to their clubs and once again enjoy the spectacle of football.
The experiences of the past 18 months have just served to underline the belief that football is not an armchair sport and there is no substitute to being in your football ground, with your friends watching your team, our Accrington Stanley or our close Sky Bet Championship neighbours Preston North End.
We would respectfully ask that all fans take personal responsibility for both yourself and your fellow supporters when attending games. As the club have already outlined, COVID-19 has not magically disappeared and whilst the former protocols are no longer mandatory it may well be that many feel slightly threatened and uncomfortable being amongst crowds once again.
Please respect the wishes of supporters who may choose to continue to wear a mask or socially distance either in the standing or seated areas.
We, supporters of ASFC and PNE have a collective responsibility to have a great afternoon out but to also take responsibility for our fellow football fans.
The club has endeavoured to make Saturday’s match a true friendly, with no segregation either inside or outside the stadium. All the facilities are open to all, either before, during or after the game, so let’s all enjoy a great Lancashire afternoon, safely.
Tickets for Saturday’s pre-season friendly are still on sale from the club’s retail shop, with tickets also available to purchase up until kick-off from the matchday ticket office.
Adult tickets are priced at £10, with all Concession tickets priced at £5.
Ticket Office Opening Times – Week Commencing Monday 19th July
- Monday 19th July (10.00am – 4.00pm)
- Tuesday 21st July (10.00am – 4.00pm)
- Wednesday 22nd July (10.00am – 4.00pm)
- Thursday 24th July (10.00am – 7.00pm)
- Friday 25th July (10.00am – 4.00pm)