Oxford United will go to Wembley on Monday missing just one thing: their fans.
Current restrictions and guidelines mean that the Sky Bet League 1 play-off final against Wycombe Wanderers will be behind closed doors and the club had that confirmed yesterday when enquiries were made just to check whether the situation might change.
Managing Director Niall McWilliams told us
“It was so strange to be at the Portsmouth games without our fans and I know Karl spoke very emotionally about not having fans and his family there to share such a massive moment.
“Yesterday we felt it was our duty to ask one last time whether anything could be done or whether things might change between now and Monday. Fans had been sending us images showing crowds of people when pubs and shops re-opened and were asking why that couldn’t happen in a controlled way at Wembley?
“So we asked the question, politely and with total respect for the current rules, whether controlled numbers - season ticket holders from both clubs, for example - could be allowed inside the ground or whether guest lists might be slightly larger. We felt that we owed it to our fans to ask that question but sadly the answer came back as a no.
“We respect that decision and will obviously abide by it and we ask all of our fans to help us now by watching the game safely at home. We will be thinking of them and we would like nothing better than to share such a massive game with our supporters. We look forward to the day where we can be part of the matchday experience with them again, hopefully in the Championship”.