Port Vale’s pre-season friendly against Nottingham Forest at 3pm on July 17 will unfortunately be played behind closed doors.
The club has reluctantly taken the decision to play the first home friendly fixture without fans in attendance but will be offering a free live stream of the game for supporters of both clubs.
Because the fixture takes place two days before the Government is set to lift pandemic restrictions, the game has to be played under full SGO2 Covid regulations.
Port Vale was hoping to welcome all supporters who wanted to attend the fixture, from both clubs, after such a lengthy break without live football.
However, as it stands under SG02 regulations, the crowd capacity at Vale Park would be very significantly reduced for this game.
In addition, if fans were in attendance the club would have to invest in a raft of Covid safety measures – ranging from signage to fencing and a large number of portable toilets to ensure safe circulation of supporters – which would only need to be in place for one match.
Port Vale Chief Executive Colin Garlick said: “We are very disappointed that we are not able to invite fans back to Vale Park for this pre-season fixture.
“However, we do not want to disenfranchise any of our supporters and then there is the significant cost of Covid safety measures to be installed for two days before all restrictions are lifted on July 19.
“At the club we have been adamant that we want the return of supporters to be a genuine celebration. We want to be able to welcome all our fans back without compromise and without anyone having to miss out because we appreciate all they have done and continue to do for Port Vale.
“We’d like to thank our colleagues at Nottingham Forest for their support in planning for this fixture.”
Details of how supporters will be able to watch the Port Vale v Nottingham Forest game live and for free will be released on Monday, July 12.
Supporters will be welcomed back to Vale Park for Port Vale’s other pre-season friendly at home against Sheffield Wednesday on Thursday, July 27, at 7.30pm. Ticket information for this match will also be released week commencing July 12.