AFC Telford disappointment as FA say no 'elite' club fans at FA Cup ties

AFC Telford United fans hoping to catch a rare glimpse of their side have been disappointed after the Football Association’s latest ruling denies them access to Chasetown this weekend.

A general view of the action as 1200 people watch Telford vs Kettering despite Coronavirus fears during the Vanarama Conference North fixture between AFC Telford United and Kettering at The New Bucks Head on Saturday, March 14, 2020...Picture: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress
A general view of the action as 1200 people watch Telford vs Kettering despite Coronavirus fears during the Vanarama Conference North fixture between AFC Telford United and Kettering at The New Bucks Head on Saturday, March 14, 2020...Picture: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress

A capacity of 400 fans are permitted to The Scholars Ground for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie, with the visiting Bucks initially offered 60 tickets.

A ballot, which closed at noon today, had been launched to select which lucky 60 fans would get hold of a ticket with the club set to prioritise loyal travelling supporters but, following an update, there will now be no away fans admitted on Saturday.

After discussions with the government, the FA confirmed that only home fans could be admitted to FA Cup ties where a ‘non elite’ club hosts an ‘elite’ club.

Chairman Andy Pryce said: "We have to follow the FA's rules, unfortunately, even though I don't agree with them.

"To be told four days before a game we're expecting 60 tickets for – which was hard enough to distribute – and then that Chasetown can have fans there but we can't does not seem right.

"We should be hearing from our league on a regular basis about meetings that are going on. To hear this four days before the season starts is mind-boggling."

The Bucks and other step one and two clubs at National League, National North and South levels are pleading with bosses to change their status from ‘elite’ to ‘recreation’ so supporters can be admitted when league action is set to start next Tuesday.

Recreational clubs are permitted to host fixtures in front of crowds of 600.

Eighty-one per cent of National North clubs, including AFC Telford, do not wish to start the campaign without fans present in stadia.

Meanwhile, Telford are waiting to discover whether the 'critical financial support package' promised by league bosses last week will be sufficient to ensure survival.

The National League are in talks with the government and FA about a support package. The club believe that, unless the support equates to the same or better than welcoming 1,000 paying fans to home games, then it will not be sufficient.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News