Opinion: Urgent action needed to let Portsmouth fans and others in again

There have been plenty of football-related campaigns down the years, but I’m not sure one has ever needed to succeed as urgently as the #LetFansIn crusade needs to.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 1:00 pm
Pompey fans are waiting to hear when they'll be allowed back into Fratton Park. Picture: Habibur Rahman

If you read the strong views of Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin on Friday you’ll know how worried clubs are that many of them – and the Football League itself – could collapse if major help doesn't come soon.

As far as I can see, two things need to happen pretty sharpish.

The first is that fans need to be let back into grounds. Not just for clubs’ sake, but for fans' sake, too.

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If people can go to the Royal Albert Hall or Marks and Spencer, why can’t they go to outdoor stadiums run by clubs who have put more effort into working out how to keep people safe from Covid-19 than have many organisations who are open?

Many have said how this feels like another case of a government punishing football and its fans. Is it because it’s seen as a working-class pastime? Who knows?

I’ve long given up trying to work out what our leaders are thinking as they lurch from one bad move to another – or whether they are really thinking at all.

Efforts by clubs, leagues and fans to get the green light need to continue – with no punches pulled – until sense is seen.

Do your bit if you can, whether it’s promoting it on Twitter or phoning up your MP.

The other thing that must happen is emergency funding for clubs, either from the government or the Premier League.

It’s unfortunate but not surprising that some of the country’s biggest clubs will offer to pass adequate amounts down the line only if unreasonable demands are met.

A compromise must be found, and let’s not pretend it would hurt the ‘haves’ to give the ‘have nots’ what they need.

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