Click here to print

An update from Nick Davidson, Woking FC COVID-19 Officer

4th August 2020
The last five months have been a strange and difficult time for the majority us, but also harder for some with their health and the health of loved ones also taking a hit, adding to their difficulties. There is also the ultimate human tragedy too many people have suffered across the globe.

We have all become accustomed to a new way of life which, had it been suggested last year, we would have laughed at. However, COVID-19 is very much still here and changing everything we do from work, school, travel, shop, and socialising with the friends and family we missed during those weeks of lockdown.

Coronavirus obviously halted the football season and prevented Woking FC having a proper go for the play-offs. No one knows what would have happened had it continued to a natural conclusion but as it stands, we look forward to a new season in the National League starting on the 3rd October. The league includes friends and foes like Torquay, Aldershot and the newly readmitted Stevenage to keep us entertained. We also wave goodbye to Barrow and Harrogate, we wish them all the best in the Football League.

I’ve written this update to prepare you for the type of event you might be turning up to when the season starts and to temper some assumptions that are flying around. This is not gospel, but a guide that has taken into consideration the latest sporting event advice and legislation from the Government, FA, National League and Sports Ground Safety Authority; groups that, amongst others, all have a vested interest in the safe return of football as a spectator event. The advice changes daily and specific locations will also be subject to local lockdown procedures and changes to legislation with little or no notice.

So, the current picture for National League clubs as it stands:

Until July 31st 2020

Full contact football training can now take place in groups of NO MORE THAN 30 participants including management and staff.

From the 1st August 2020

Outdoor competitive matches can begin (e.g pre-season friendlies) with those not actively engaged on the pitch, adhering to the 2m social distancing rule were practicable. Currently these events will be closed to the general public and spectators.

From the 3rd October 2020

Unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list but I wanted to make it clear that the new world order will be very different for all of us while watching the sport we love. Whether you feel you are able to return is a matter for yourself and you must consider your health, susceptibility to illness, how you will travel, can you maintain social distancing and your own personal circumstances at home and family. If in doubt or feel you may have signs or symptoms* then please do not risk your health or that of our loved ones.

I appreciate some of this may seem a little over the top and that for the non-believers a case of ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I appreciate that everyone’s different view. However, this is what the authorities are currently pointing towards and I for one want to watch the football again on the terraces with my friends and family as I’ve missed it so much since March. It’s really a matter of doing what we can to make sure the staff, the players and the fans are safe by reducing the risks. As Team Sky would once say, it’s about controlling the controllable.

Woking Football Club will comply with all the legislation put forward and we will have a game again we can watch at the Laithwaite Community Stadium as soon as possible.

Be safe.

*What does self-assess for signs and symptoms mean?

Everyone should before attending and if showing any signs, do not attend, self-isolate, and inform the NHS by ringing 119.
If you are or a member of your household are isolating, do not attend any matches.

Possible symptoms:
  • Fever or high temperature (eg 37.8C or 100.04F)

  • New or continuous cough

  • Suffering a loss of taste or smell

  • A shortness of breath during exercise or at rest

  • Headaches, feeling generally unwell, or suffering persistent tiredness/fatigue muscle and joint pains

If you answer YES to any of these questions, self-isolate, inform the NHS by calling 119 and follow the advice from them.