FOOTBALL: It is not every week that you hear the three words “King’s Lynn Town” being spoken in the grand surroundings of the Houses of Parliament, writes Mark Hearle.
However, last Wednesday we did indeed hear just that when our local MP James Wild raised the plight we are facing as a club with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Mr Johnson’s answer was vague and confirmed nothing other than sympathy, which you would expect. To see our local MP fighting our corner and raising the issue at national level will, hopefully, add a little momentum to the situation.
At the time of writing we still await further direction in what is a very serious situation we are all facing in the months ahead.
Of course the nation’s health and wellbeing must always be the primary thought in all our minds and actions that we carry out.
To do anything that may endanger that would be foolish and careless. It is something as a club we would never do.
I have been privy to the arrangements that have been put in place, and followed to the letter of the law, in the two games we have played at The Walks this season, both in the behind-closed-doors format.
I have seen the endless paperwork completed, checked and monitored time and time again.
The procedures put into place that have been complied with totally and honestly by all concerned; total compliance without any kind of resistance.
Yes, it has been hard work and there have been obstacles to overcome, which you would expect. The whole aim of this exercise was to prepare ourselves for October 3 and going ‘live’, as it were, with supporters inside the stadium.
It now appears that, despite the good work that we did, we will not get the chance to negotiate the final hurdle and use the experience gained on supporting a Walks crowd in the immediate future.
To say that I find that disappointing would be an understatement.
I am sure that we could have completed the final part of the project with everyone feeling that they were in a safe and comfortable environment.
I feel we should have been given the chance to trial the procedures as live and show what can be done. I am sure other clubs within our league feel the same.
So where do we stand now? If I’m honest I really do not know. It is a classic rock-and-a-hard-place scenario.
Supporters need to, and want to, be inside the stadium, of that I am sure. If they are not allowed as we have been told, then we must at least be prepared to stream games as live to supporters of both home and away games over the course of the season.
It will not solve all of the problems that we face but it would be a help and a start.
Mr Johnson stated earlier in the week that sport is part of local communities and is a source of help and inspiration in difficult times.
If that is the case, then let us show what we are here for and allow members of the community back inside the ground for a much-needed boost to everyone’s spirits.
On that point it was very pleasing to see a good-size crowd over at The Memorial Field on Tuesday evening for our latest warm-up fixture against Downham Town.
I must also congratulate all at the host club for arranging such a well-run event, which, as far as I am aware, ran smoothly and added further weight to my above thoughts.