Barnsley FC reveal plans for fans to return for play-off tie

BARNSLEY have confirmed that they anticipate a maximum of 4,500 home fans being allowed to attend their Championship semi-final home leg which will take place on Monday week (May 17) - subject to Government confirmation.

The club have also provided an update regarding ticket distribution for the fixture to Reds supporters, with a ballot for tickets to be live on Tuesday, May 11, with successful ballot applications to be notified by Thursday, May 13.

May 17 is the date which has been earmarked for some fans to return to stadiums.

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Clubs could be permitted to host as many as 10,000 supporters – or 25 per cent of capacity – under the Government’s roadmap lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.

A Barnsley FC statement read: "Whilst previous attempts were prevented by Coronavirus ‘Tier Three’ status bestowed on South Yorkshire throughout November/December 2020, the club’s stance and intention has always been for supporters to safely return to Oakwell, as soon as possible. This has not changed.

"Whilst we await confirmation from Government officials, we anticipate and plan towards a maximum of 4,500 individuals being allowed to attend the home leg of our play-off fixture on Monday 17 May (kick-off time tbc).

"General reports have been circulated across various news outlets regarding temporary capacities of stadia. Oakwell’s bespoke safe capacity calculations have been enforced by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and will remain in place until 21st June at the earliest.

"Due to the reduced ticket allocation for this fixture, the club have worked towards establishing a fair ticket distribution process. While various options were considered, If supporters are permitted to attend, 20/21 Reds Reserved (and RR+) members will be invited to enter an online ballot, for a chance to secure a seat. The ballot will be live on Tuesday, May 11."

With an exceptionally quick turnaround expected, successful ballot applications will be notified by Thursday May 13, with automated payment to follow.

Members will be permitted to enter the ballot in groups of up to six, all of whom will need to be within the club's e-ticketing network. While supporters must complete a compulsory online health assessment prior to attendance, the club are anticipating minimal restrictions.

Safety Officer, Steve Howard commented: “The potential of fans returning to stadia has been a long time coming and as a team, a dedicated number of individuals have worked diligently to ensure that Barnsley FC and Oakwell are in the best possible position to welcome you back as soon as possible.

“As a club, it’s frustrating not to have answers to hand, but whilst we seek total clarity, we thought it best to inform our supporters of our initial plans. Our final plans can only be confirmed after the Government announcements scheduled for 10 May.

“Along with a number of colleagues, I plan to speak with our fan engagement forum in the coming days to help answer questions and ease potential concerns.

“I would like to thank our supporters for their continued understanding and patience on this complex matter. When the time is right, we can’t wait to welcome you home.”