Fulham intend to admit fans for the visit of Liverpool to Craven Cottage on December 12 – and this is how they’re planning to do it.
How will lucky fans be chosen?
They will be 2019-20 season ticket holders whose names will be entered into an electronic draw – a bit like Premium Bonds – and then issued with a ‘digital match ticket’ for use on their smartphone.
Why last season’s ticket holders and not this?
Because the club didn’t issue any 2020-21 season tickets, well aware they might be handing revenue back in considerable lumps of money – as other clubs are finding out.
Will fans attending the Liverpool match be excluded from the next home game so others can have a turn?
In a word: unlikely.
The club want the draw to be totally random.
So, in the same way a lottery winner could enter the following week after their jackpot success, so can all season-ticket holders, regardless of whether they get two tickets in a row.
What about socially distancing measures?
Only two stands will be open: the Putney and Hammersmith Ends at either end of the ground.
Given the capacity is upwards of 5,000 fans each, a thousand in each means one person to every five seats, unless members of the same family win tickets. They will be allowed to sit together.
All spectators will have their temperature checked on entry.
What are the arrangements for getting in and out of Craven Cottage?
There are likely to be instructions that go with the digital ticket about staggered arrival.
But the club admits they’ve yet to work out the fine detail on leaving the ground at the end of the game.
Chances of a burger and a Bovril?
Surprisingly, the club is planning to open concession stands.
The logic is that takeaways stayed open throughout the pandemic, and Fulham are working ways to make sure those missing a Cottage pie can once again dig in.