Oxford United can confirm that Saturday’s home Sky Bet League 1 game against Sunderland will be behind closed doors despite yesterday’s news that the EFL had given the green light for clubs to run pilot events for up to 1,000 supporters to return to football stadiums this weekend.
The club has worked hard with all of the relevant authorities and detailed plans have been drawn up for a safe return for fans under socially distanced conditions.
However, the time scales involved for making the request to the EFL were relatively short and so the club has instead opted to request a pilot event when we welcome Crewe Alexandra to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday 3rd October.
Managing Director Niall McWilliams told us
“Fans returning to football is a massive step in the right direction. Over the last few weeks we have spent many hours talking to the right people about public safety and the current sitation with the pandemic and were prepared for all eventualities.
“We are desperate for fans to come back to our games but it has to be done with the health and safety not just of the fans but also the players and staff as our highest priority.
“Could we have piloted a game on Saturday? Probably. But probably isn’t enough right now. The situation in Oxford itself changes all the time so we need to know it is 100% the right decision for everyone and would rather make sure everything is in place for a safe pilot game, with the plan being for that to take place against Crewe.
“How we pilot it and how many fans can attend is part of a very detailed plan which we have included fan feedback in after we asked them for the numbers within their social bubbles hoping to attend games. Now we just need to formally submit those plans to the authorities and make sure we can start taking the correct steps to have fans back at our matches.”
Saturday's game will be available for FREE to Season Ticket Holders in iFollow and for £10 to non season ticket holders. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE GAME