Kate Osborne MP has urged the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) to consider amending the current Tier 3 restrictions on some non-league clubs to allow fans back.
Osborne, who is Member of Parliament for Jarrow, addressed the DCMS Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden, with the following letter:
I am writing to you regarding the financial viability of asking non-league clubs to play without spectators in Tier 3
restricted areas. The current Tier 3 restrictions have created an unsustainable situation for non-league clubs.
For clubs in the non-league setup, the primary source of income is from home matchdays, without that income
stream, the current measures will kill grassroots football and further damage our local economy.
I am sure you will agree with me that football clubs are community assets and an important expression of individual
and local identity; they deserve urgent support to secure their future. I know that the non-league clubs in my
constituency had put an enormous amount of effort and money on putting Covid secure measures in place in
anticipation for December the 2nd.
It is time for common sense to prevail for non-league football teams, most have around 1/200 fans in most grounds at
that level which means it is a safe and socially distanced environment. The current guidelines mean that the nonleague clubs in my constituency can host fans at their ground for under 23’s and Junior level, yet the 1st team cannot
have fans at a game.
In my constituency alone, Jarrow FC, Hebburn Town and South Shields FC are all severely affected by this. It would be
disastrous for our local community if these clubs go out of business. Under the previous tier 3 restrictions, non-league
clubs could host fans, what has changed?
I would appreciate if you would seriously consider amending the Tier 3 restrictions regarding non-league and adopt a
common-sense approach because football without fans is nothing. No matter what level.
I look forward to your response.