With fans expected to be excluded from attending games until at least the middle to end of October, chief executive Nigel Clibbens spoke about what could be a fantastic footy-fix lifeline – the live streaming service iFollow, which will provide a real-time way for supporters to watch their team in action.
“We had an EFL meeting on Thursday and we think we’ve come up with an iFollow solution for League Two clubs,” he said. “The situation has been really complicated because some clubs have been selling season tickets for a long time, and have sold them on the basis of fans being able to watch 23 games.
“Those clubs are looking to give season ticket holders free passes to watch matches on iFollow as some sort of compensation for the games they will now miss – remember that’s because they’ve already sold their season tickets for a full quota of fixtures.
“For clubs like us, who haven’t sold season tickets yet at all, if we had to give free passes to everybody it would mean that not only would we have missed out on the iFollow income, we would also have missed out on the season ticket income. I expect iFollow prices to be confirmed soon as well.
“That’s because we decided to delay selling season tickets until we could get a better idea of how many games our fans will actually get to see. Obviously that would have been a really bad option for us.
“Sense has prevailed, and we expect an announcement early next week which will mean for us, any fan who can’t come to a game, whether they’re a season ticket holder or not, will simply be able to buy a match pass on a game-by-game basis. The full details on that will come out next week.”
“For the first time, Saturday fixtures will be available to be streamed in the UK,” he confirmed. “That means fans who can’t get into the stadium can still watch their team and support their club, and I think that’s important for everybody.
“Whether we’ll be able to stream games once fans are allowed back in stadiums is still uncertain. For us to expect to have season ticket holders in the ground, and have walk-up fans paying to come in, and streaming all going on at the same time for a Saturday fixture … I would suggest that just isn’t going to happen.
“As soon as we get to some kind of certainty about how many fans can get into grounds, I don’t think fans will then be able to rely on streaming Saturday fixtures. Even if there are no walk-up tickets available, streaming may not be available, because the priority has to be season ticket holders.”