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Darlington Football Club

Ray Simpson / 15th September 2020

From the board of directors of Darlington FC

From the board of directors of Darlington FC

Clarity requested from the league

From the board of directors of Darlington FC.


Darlington FC has today noted the letter by Brian Barwick, Chairman of the National League, to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

In his letter, Mr Barwick states that “the National League has asked the government to allow up to 1,000 spectators in all grounds from October as a temporary solution.....”

Darlington FC has, in the last seven days, received permission from the National League to temporarily play its home games at the Darlington Arena, the home of Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club, after we learned that the 550 capacity of Blackwell Meadows would be insufficient for our needs because of social distancing. We have 650 season ticket holders and an average gate last season of 1,471.

A figure of 1,000 may be sufficient for some clubs in our league, but it is still inadequate for ourselves. One of the reasons why we requested a ground move was of sustainability, and a net increase of 450 in our capacity makes little difference.

In line with government plans for a COVID secure stadium and taking social distancing measures into account, we estimate our capacity will be around 3,000, which is 11 per cent of the normal Arena capacity of 27,000.

We are therefore seeking further clarity from the league about this figure of 1,000 which has been quoted.