- New procedures in place following learnings from last Wednesday's game
Following the return of fans to The Valley last Wednesday, for Saturday’s game against AFC Wimbledon supporters will be allowed into the stadium closer to kick-off and will be able to leave the stadium closer to the final whistle.
Club Safety Officer Mick Everett explained: “We would like to thank our supporters for their patience during last week’s game – they have been fantastic and really supported the staff working. We had four working days to turn the game around and it is a learning experience for both the club and the supporters but we were very pleased that we were able to deliver a safe game.
“For last week’s game there was a slow exit of the stadium, with the whole operation taking 19 minutes. It was important to get the exit right and through what we have seen and working with the authorities, we can now implement changes which will speed up the exit dramatically while maintaining social distancing.”
For Saturday’s game two blocks will be released simultaneously in each stand, which should cut exit times in half while ensuring social distancing is maintained. An example of this is highlighted in the below video from Movement Strategies, who have been working with the club and authorities since June to help with the return of supporters to The Valley.
Supporters were asked to arrive up to 1 hour and 45 minutes ahead of kick-off last week, but for Saturday’s game supporters arrival times have been moved much closer to kick-off.
Everett added: “We’re learning every game but we’ll look to continue to improve the experience every matchday. Feedback from fans plays an important part in this and is really helpful. It's the fans adopting the new procedures which will support our ability to increase the number of fans in the stadium in the the future."