Northampton’s three professional sports clubs – Northampton Saints RFC, Northampton Town FC, and Northamptonshire CCC – met with Northampton South MP, Andrew Lewer, on Friday.
The clubs explained the challenges facing the sports industry at the moment, with elite sport continuing to be played behind closed doors without spectators in line with Government policy.
The issue of the safe return of supporters to stadiums was discussed at length, with the clubs explaining the detailed protocols that have been put in place.
The clubs were grateful to Mr Lewer for his time and all parties have agreed to remain in regular communication as the clubs work towards a return to stadiums for spectators.
“At this time of shared challenge, it is really positive for us to be working together with the Cobblers and the Cricket Club,” said Northampton Saints Chief Executive Mark Darbon.
“All three clubs have a special place in the heart of the Town; Saints, the Cobblers and the Steelbacks all benefit from the fervent and unwavering support of our community.
“In return, the work done within the community by the clubs is wide ranging and impactful, creating strong sporting, social and educational legacies across Northamptonshire and beyond.
“The implications of being able to continue this are unthinkable, so we are doing everything in our power to secure the long-term future of the clubs in spite of the current industry landscape.”
Northampton Town FC Chief Executive, James Whiting, said, “There are so many benefits to allowing spectators back into sports stadiums, and as clubs we are working very hard to make this happen as soon as possible.
“All three sports clubs in Northampton are of the opinion that this can be done safely as there are carefully considered, detailed plans that have been approved by our Safety Advisory Group in place.
“We have seen successful pilot events staged at various stadiums up and down the country and we believe that attending outdoor sports stadiums under these conditions is far safer than some of the activities that are currently allowed.
“This is a really important time for the three clubs to show a unified approach to Government for the good of Northamptonshire.”
“The sporting clubs of Northampton have worked together in the past, in much more settled times, it seems absolutely fitting in these times, we do so more than ever,” added Ray Payne, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire CCC.
“When individuals are stricter in movement and social interaction, sport has a big part to play in the wellbeing and mental health for all, we have a part to play in providing that within the community. We will work with government and local authorities to find safe ways that sports fans can enjoy sport and participating in sport in the town.”