TAUNTON Town chairman Kevin Sturmey says the club needs fans “to work with us”, as the Peacocks prepare for the 2020/21 season.

The Southern League season is scheduled to start on Saturday, September 19, and supporters have been given the green light to attend games by the Football Association.

From August 31, fans may attend up to 30 per cent of minimum ground grading capacity at their club’s level in the National League System, provided that clubs have a designated Covid-19 officer, complete risk assessments and action plans, and arrange support for Track and Trace efforts.

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Taunton are well into pre-season, but all of their friendlies have been away from home so far, with the Cygnet Health Care Stadium not yet ready to host football.

Building work has been taking place at the ground, as well as redecoration of the home changing room.

Focus now shifts to making the stadium safe, with measures including removing seats to be compliant with social distancing.

Sturmey told the County Gazette: “We’re trying to work out one-way systems, and generally looking at everything we can do to make people feel safe when coming to the ground.

“Even so, every person has individual responsibility, and has to think how things might be different to before.

"We can put systems in place, but can’t lead a horse to water and make it drink.

“Football will be so different... we want to increase crowds, but now we’re taking action to restrict numbers.

"We want big crowds and lots of noise, so it’s very weird to have to change that philosophy.”

The Taunton chairman says that the 30 per cent cap works out as 600 fans being able to watch a game at Wordsworth Drive, a number which is slightly under the club’s average gate in the truncated 2019/20 season.

That means no ticket offers for the time being, while under-18s may all need to be accompanied by an adult.

“Entry charges won’t go up, but we have to protect ourselves and we’re looking at those aspects as part of doing our risk assessment,” said Sturmey.

He said that it is “not feasible” for Taunton to sell tickets on matchday, with the requirement to fill out forms for Track and Trace, so fans will be encouraged to buy in advance or purchase a season ticket.

“We need fans to work with us, because if it’s not done right we could be liable,” Sturmey added.

“It’s not going to be a normal season, but we will do everything we can to make it safe.”