Mark Catlin: Full steam ahead for Portsmouth fans back at Fratton Park

Mark Catlin believes it remains ‘full steam ahead’ for football to open its doors to supporters in October.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 7:00 am

However, sports pilot events scheduled for the start of this month were pulled following a sudden surge in coronavirus cases.

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Encouragingly, the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre last weekend instead served as a pilot and more are expected to follow.

And Catlin is still operating under the belief that Fratton Park will be able to welcome in a proportion of socially-distant home fans in October.

He told The News: ‘We have no update other than what is already out there publicly.

‘They launched some trial events which were then pulled because of a spike in cases in certain areas.

Mark Catlin believes a proportion of Pompey support can be at Fratton Park in October. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Aligned with the trials, they said a limited amount of fans may be allowed in during October.

‘Now we’re waiting to find out if the two-week pausing of the trial scenario has impacted upon the actual live return of fans in October. We’ll just have to wait and see.

‘We haven’t been told that anything has changed, we are still full steam ahead to October, but, as I’ve said previously, it changes quickly.

‘I have no fresh information over and above what supporters already know and is available.’

During previous pilot event plans, Goodwood was braced to host around 5,000 racegoers on August 1 at the Glorious Goodwood Festival.

Elsewhere, the Oval were expecting 2,500 people on the Saturday and Sunday of the Bob Willis Trophy cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex.

However, they were shelved at the last minute, with the government striving to prevent the spread of coronavirus following outbreaks in the north of England.

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