CHESTER FC are preparing for the safe return of supporters to the Deva Stadium – and have revealed some of the changes they expect to implement next season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement released this morning (August 11) by the board of City Fans United says one of the key challenges facing the club is ensuring that the stadium is compliant with Covid-19 regulations when fans are eventually allowed to return.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month that crowds could start to return to sports stadiums in October, with speculation since that football grounds may operate at a third of their capacity.

One of the expected matchday changes Chester Fc has been able to communicate at this stage is the likely introduction of an online car parking payment facility to reduce cash handling operations.

The club anticipates that the new system will involve fans purchasing a season car park pass.

It is unlikely that the club will be selling print editions of the matchday programme next season, but a digital edition is expected to be made.

Meanwhile, the club has also provided updates on stadium and pitch maintenance as well as the Blues Bar and catering facilities.

Here is the statement:

Stadium reopening

We are currently in the process of reopening the Deva Stadium ticket office and will provide an update as soon as possible. Our priority is the safety of our fantastic team of volunteers who help ensure our club runs on a day to day basis.

Pitch Maintenance

We are continuing to maintain the pitch to the highest standard possible in readiness for the start of the new season. Groundsman Mike Barrow has been supported by Director Paul Bodman and a team of volunteers, who have ensured that we have a surface to be proud of and one of the best outside of the English Football League.

Stadium Maintenance

We have now started the process of sprucing up the Deva Stadium, however there is quite a lot of work to do and we will be organising a volunteer day to help ensure our ground is looking its best for the new season. If you have some time to spare and would like to help, please email and we will share dates and times with you as soon as these have been confirmed.

Making the Stadium Covid-19 Compliant

One of the key challenges facing the club at present is to ensure the stadium is compliant with Covid-19 regulations and provides a safe environment for supporters to watch football. Director Mark Jones and Safety Officer Steve Povey are leading this work and this will involve some changes for our fans when attending matches. These will be communicated with supporters in good time.

Bars & Catering

The club has completed a review of how these services are delivered and is now in discussions with a number of potential operators for the Blues Bar, catering and kiosks. These services have gone out to tender and we hope to provide a further update by the end of August.

Matchday Programmes

The impact of Covid-19 and resulting guidance means the club may not be able to sell printed copies of our matchday programme The Cestrian during the 2020/21 season. We are committed to continuing to produce a matchday programme but its likely this will be in the form of a digital edition.

Car Parking

As the club is required to reduce its cash handling operations, we are likely to introduce an online payment facility for matchday parking. It is anticipated this will involve fans purchasing a season car park pass, however we will release further details once we are in a position to do so.