News today that football is returning to the Abbey Stadium earlier than expected as United will be hosting the first games in front of fans of the new season in two test events.
Our EFL Trophy game on Tuesday against Fulham U21’s/U23’s/U11’s/whatever the EFL have decided to experiment with this year will be the first game in front of 1000 potential fans (although as there’s a fairly substantial boycott of the EFL Trophy in place how many actually attend remains to be seen), with just the NRE, Habbin and South (away) stands open, before our League Two opener against Carlisle on Saturday 12th will see 2,500 season ticket holders admitted to all areas of the ground.
We’re sure the club have been working extremely hard on this, and they deserve our applause for not only working closely with the EFL but also convincing our notoriously jumpy Safety Advisory Group that the Abbey can safely hold events in the new socially-distanced world we inhabit.
How things like toilet access, and half time food & drink is going to work out remains to be seen, and it’s possible fans will be released stand-by-stand at the end of the game to help maintain social distancing. We’re sure it won’t be without teething troubles, but the fact that our club will be the first in the country to host fans is a credit to those that work behind the scenes.
For the first time since the visit of Man United in 2015 all the worlds attention will be on the Abbey, so if you’re lucky enough to be able to attend the Carlisle game (we’re assuming the media, much like us, won’t give a shit about the EFL Trophy match) be loud, be proud and be United to show the world just what this famous old club is all about (and three points to kickstart the season wouldn’t go amiss either).
What do you think? Are you looking forward to getting back to the Abbey? Will you be attending the Fulham game? Is there any point to playing in front of non-League sized crowds anyway?
Let us know at twitter.com/abbeystandpod