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Club Statement

Club Statement

COLERAINE chairman Colin McKendry has spoken after new Covid-19 regulations the Northern Ireland Executive would have meant supporters not being permitted entry to tonight’s opening Danske Bank Premiership game…

The Bannsiders received the news at the eleventh hour as they were preparing to take on Ballymena United.

Fans were already inside the Showgrounds when club officials were informed of the new regulations.

After speaking with the board though Mr McKendry took the decision to allow fans to attend the game on the basis of public safety.

“We met as a board and I said open the gates because I didn’t want public health and safety issues arising outside the gate,” he said.

“I made the decision to continue to let people in, if I’m held to task for that then so be it.

“I’m acting for the safety of people. That’s what we have done as a club.

“I will openly state that we have not been given guidance prior to fans being in this ground.

“I feel sorry for the football people. I’ve sat in meetings until after midnight this week trying to get football arranged with members of my board.

“We really went the extra mile. We couldn’t have done any more to ensure the safety of fans.

“This is extremely poor leadership from our government officials to allow Coleraine Football Club to spend the money they have spent to get to this point only to tell them an hour and a half before kick off that there’s no fans allowed.

“I know personally there were supporters coming from Enniskillen tonight.

“We have done everything by the letter of the law and I feel extremely let down.”