Return of fans: What should I write in letter to my MP?

Brighton & Hove Albion supporters wishing to write to their local MP ahead of the parliamentary debate to discuss the potential return of fans may like to use some of the points below.

By Paul Camillin • 29 October 2020

By Paul Hazlewood

MPs will debate possibility of letting supporters return to matches as a result of a fan-led petition, which has reached almost 200,000 signatures.

Earlier this month Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber urged supporters to write to their local MP to express their views on the safe return of fans ahead of the debate on 9th November. 

Speaking today, he said, “Of course we recognise the Government’s significant challenges in battling a virus that is still prevalent and rising in a number of areas across the country. We certainly do not underestimate this task or wish to make it harder.

“We are simply asking to be treated the same as other areas of the entertainment industry, where spectators are being permitted, and for fans to be allowed back to our stadiums at the earliest safe opportunity. Some parts of our industry are absolutely dependent on this.”

Supporters wishing to express their views may want to pick out one or more of the following themes:

- if you attended the pilot event write to your MP and give your views on how it felt and the measures taken by the club

- ask your MP for some understanding on the inconsistencies in allowing spectators back in across different sectors

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion held a successful test event with fans at the Amex against Chelsea in August.

- ask for their support in allowing clubs to safely admit a percentage of stadium capacity in a Covid-19-secure environment

- ask what criteria do clubs have to meet to allow fans back into outside sporting venues

- explain football is not sustainable without fans, and not just financially

- explain how important football and your club is to you and your community, and the huge role clubs play in British society

Speaking earlier this month Barber said, "Here in Brighton & Hove we have had tremendous support from local MPs, such as Peter Kyle, Caroline Lucas and others.

"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.

"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.

By Paul Hazlewood
2500 Albion fans watched the friendly against Chelsea in August.

 "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.

“Two months is a long time with this virus. When people said to us back in April that we would be playing Premier League football again in the middle of June, albeit behind closed doors, at that point it seemed impossible for us to even contemplate.

"At that point there were nearly 1000 people a day dying, the NHS was completely overwhelmed, people were in lockdown and couldn’t get to their workplaces.

"But we were being advised by the government at that time to prepare to play football again in the middle of June. It seemed highly unlikely it would happen, but it did, and it was very successful.

"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 be a huge amount of football for our fans to see at that point."

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