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Delia Smith calls on Boris Johnson to allow supporters back into grounds

Norwich City v AFC Bournemouth – Premier League – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Norwich’s joint majority shareholder Delia Smith has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow “a percentage” of fans back into stadiums in an open letter published on the club’s official website.

A planned reintroduction of supporters to grounds from October 1 was scrapped amid concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Norwich’s Carrow Road had hosted a pilot on September 19, with a crowd of 1,000 in attendance as the team drew 2-2 with Preston.

Smith’s letter to the Prime Minister said: “Please, please can you make a decision to allow just a percentage of football supporters into the ground to watch games.

“Grown up logic tells us what even the scientists must agree with: temperature checks, with supporters two metres apart, hand sanitising, masks, and so much empty space, distancing and open air has to be perfectly safe, and what’s more it’s a far better option than six round a table watching a match inside.”

Smith said what had happened at Carrow Road on September 19 had “worked like a dream.”

She added: “Looking ahead to the possibility and consequences of smaller clubs ceasing to exist, we need to remind ourselves that football is one of the last bastions of what it means to be community in contemporary life.

“How many times do we hear the words ‘stronger together’? It gives the young a sense of belonging, no need to join a gang. It also manages to transcend colour, racism, class and age.

“Clubs at the heart of communities are saving the government and the taxpayer some of the high costs of youth crime. Whilst the charitable Football Foundations working alongside the clubs make an enormous contribution to those in most need in the communities they serve. Again, saving the taxpayer.

“What we all need is good news, hope and what you could get is a whole stash of brownie points.

“England invented the beautiful game, which has become much more than that. An unsung gem that makes an enormous contribution to our society at no cost.

“Please Prime Minister, before the final whistle is blown, can we have our football back?”

The letter concluded with “PS: Let me know if ever you want tickets to a game.”