harlton are relishing the pressure of being the first London club to welcome back supporters, according to the club’s commercial director.
All eyes will be on The Valley as 2,000 fans return for Wednesday’s League One clash with MK Dons — the stadium’s first match with supporters since a successful trial in September.
The season ticket-holders, who were selected by ballot on Monday, will not be able to buy food, drinks or programmes and the club stands to make a loss from games until a greater number of supporters are allowed back.
“We got wind of this being allowed on Friday by our Council,” said the club’s commercial director, Wayne Mumford. “We were thinking our first game back [with fans] would be February or March and were planning our campaign around how we could handle that.
“We get a call Thursday and the go-ahead Friday from the Council — and it’s 2,000 allowed in on Wednesday.
“You can imagine the logistical nightmare for the club. But we just want more [fans in]. We like the pressure of getting more.”
The club’s chief operating officer, Tony Keohane, says tomorrow’s event is primarily about providing confidence that more fans can return in the future.
“This isn’t just about Charlton,” said Keohane. “This is every stadium, every venue, be it football, rugby or theatre. It’s about building up the confidence that we have procedures and processes that can be trusted. That’s what we can influence.”