Angus hopes Boris Johnson ‘holds his nerve’ over crowds in sporting venues

SWINDON Town CEO Rob Angus hopes the British government “holds its nerve” regarding crowds in football stadiums ahead of the club’s FA Cup third-round tie with Manchester City next month.

Town are set to host the Premier League champions in an 8pm kick-off on Friday, January 7 with ITV also showing the tie around the world.

The County Ground club is continuing preparations in earnest ahead of one of the biggest games in many years while fixtures up and down the country continue to be postponed due to Covid’s Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Welsh FA suspended its top three tiers after the country opted to limit spectator numbers to just 50 earlier this week.

Town’s CEO echoed the EFL’s optimism around minimising disruption to the schedule, but said ultimately there will be nothing the club could do if Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces similar restrictions to previous national lockdowns.

Angus said: “Personally, I hope the government holds its nerve (over crowd restrictions). But we’ll have to wait and see because there’s nothing we can do.

“We just need to follow government guidelines and hope that the City game goes ahead with a full crowd. It’s the biggest game for the club in an extremely long period of time, so we hope it goes ahead with fans.

“But ultimately, that’s going to be a decision for the government to make and we’ll have to fall in line with whatever decision occurs.”

Swindon have already seen two recent games postponed due to Covid outbreaks within squads.

Town’s match against Walsall was pushed back due to an issue within the Robins’ set-up while the club’s Boxing Day clash away at Exeter City was postponed because of a problem within the Grecians’ camp.

With two home games in a row prior to the FA Cup tie Swindon will hope no more postponements occur, and Angus was keen to reassure fans that new EFL protocols will ensure match days at the County Ground can be enjoyed in as Covid-secure environments as possible.

He said: “From our perspective, and from our supporters’ perspective, we’ll be doing everything we can to get all of our games on safely.

“We’ve got new Covid rules to follow from the EFL that we’ve got to put in place for every home game from now on, but all we can do is follow the guidelines, hope, and wait to see what happens.”

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