THE VICE chairman of Basingstoke Town Football Club is calling on Boris Johnson to allow fans back into non-league stadiums before the start of the new season.

Kevin White has said that clubs up and down the country, including his, are "already geared up" to allow smaller crowds into their grounds with social distancing measures ready to go.

Currently, no fans are allowed into football stadiums, despite high-profile trials being carried out in Cricket and Snooker games.

But Kevin says that not only would it help the club's financial position after a year of playing in Winchester, it would allow fans to be able to watch their team in action in Basingstoke for the first time in over a year - and get back a massive part of many people's social life.

He told The Gazette: "I think it is ridiculous [that crowds aren't allowed], particularly as casinos are now open, and all these indoor places that are open.

"If you had a big enough pub garden you could take as many people as you like.

"What's a football stadium if it's not a massive open-air arena?"

The vice chairman said that the club had been working on protocols that would allow their fans to attend games at Winklebury, whose 1,950 capacity could be reduced to around 400 to allow for social distancing measures, but already allowing more fans than their average attendance in Winchester last year.

This would include buying your ticket online in advance, queuing at different entrances around the ground, social distancing throughout and staggered entry and exit periods.

"We'd have to police how they're let out," he continued. "Maybe we colour code the ground, and you let our sections at a time. That can be easily policed by the club."

Kevin says he's confident that fans would abide by the rules, saying the knowledge of potential sanctions for the club, and the closure of the ground, if rules aren't followed enough of a "deterrent".

"The rules seem to be followed in pubs really well, when I was at a theme park last week, there was a lot more courtesy in people.

"It would be a massive emphasis on the club, but the reward of having supporters back far outweighs the risk of a couple not following the rules.

"If pubs can do it, Christ we can, and they're having to do it with people under the influence of alcohol."

Should fans not be allowed in by the time their league season starts on September 19, the club are investigating ways of broadcasting their matches live on YouTube, and say in the "worst case" there would be edited highlights the same evening and live radio commentary online.

"We want our supporters to see what’s happening on the pitch," Kevin added, "you can’t substitute seeing a goal go in.

"We’ve looked at every single contingency plan from having no supporters to limited supporters to all supporters, so we’re already geared up for that."

DCMS have been contacted for comment.