Shabana has written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding the safe reopening of football grounds after lockdown.
Shabana was recently contacted by representatives from football clubs in Birmingham regarding allowing fans back into stadiums after December 2nd.
The clubs are not seeking an immediate change in policy, but an approved roadmap from the Government for clubs ready to safely reopen to fans, including restarting pilot and test games depending on local restrictions.
In her letter to Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State at the Department, Shabana emphasises the incredible charitable work of football clubs during this crisis and the important role they have played in communities across the country.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State,
I am writing to you regarding the re-opening of football stadiums in Birmingham and across the country during this pandemic.
I have been contacted by one of the premier league football clubs in my constituency who have raised their concerns regarding allowing supporters back in to stadiums.
The Premier League and its clubs recognise the challenges facing Government to manage COVID-19 and are understanding of how imperative it is to use whatever are the most effective measures to deal with the pandemic.
However, their reason for contacting me is not to ask me to support any immediate change in policy during this lockdown period. Instead they have outlined why they feel professional football is well-prepared to welcome supporters back to stadium as soon as it is practical to do so and why they should be treated fairly in this matter.
It would be reasonable for this Government to give a firm commitment that football will be treated fairly in this matter and, should conditions allow after December 2, for pilot or test events be reinstated at levels which reflect local risk. Football clubs are seeking an approved roadmap from the Government for clubs ready to safely reopen to fans.
Football clubs across the country have done incredible work during this crisis and they have always played an important role in our communities. I understand the financial pressure on this sector is massive, and no community deserves to lose a cherished community asset as a result of this crisis.
I would be grateful if you could please outline what steps will the government take to support the safe re-opening of football stadiums in Birmingham and across the country?
Does the government also have plans to support football clubs during this pandemic and provide them with financial packages they need to survive?
Thank you for looking into this matter – I look forward to hearing from you.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood