05:17PM, Wednesday 12 May 2021
Photo: Darren Woolley
Maidenhead CEO Jon Adams has responded to criticism of the club on social media for failing to allow in journalists, commentary teams and photographers who wanted to cover Notts County’s key game against the Magpies at York Road.
United have had strict COVID-19 safety protocols in place all season, limiting the numbers of away club players, coaching staff and officials to 32, while external media haven’t been permitted access to the ground all season.
Leigh Curtis, Notts County writer for the Nottingham Post, posted on twitter he was covering Tuesday’s game via the livestream, and added that the paper’s photographer also hadn’t been able to go to the game.
Charlie Wyatt, football editor at The Sun, called the decision ‘disgraceful’, and asked why the National League were allowing it.
“These things often get blown up,” said Adams.
“We’ve adopted the same protocols this season with regards to COVID. One of the things we’ve done is limit access to the ground for both home and away teams.
“The ground is relatively tight, and we wanted to make sure we limited the opportunity for people to be impacted by or to catch COVID.
“And you have to step back and say that that’s worked very well for us this season. We’re one of a very few clubs in the league that hasn’t had a COVID incident or a single positive test within our playing or coaching squad.
“We’ve managed to mitigate against that risk, and, while I appreciate we’re at the stage where we’re coming out of the pandemic and things are being released, the reality is that we’ve applied the same rules to everyone.
“We understand it’s disappointing. Some of the bigger clubs want to bring more people with them, but we’ve limited clubs to 32 staff, players and coaching staff throughout the season. It’s been safe. Our changing facilities are limited, and we wanted to provide people with an opportunity to work in a safe environment. That means limiting the numbers and we’ve been consistent on that front throughout the season.”
While Adams appreciates that County are a big club, from a big city with a large fanbase, who are used to listening to their matches home and away on BBC radio, he said County hadn’t been treated differently to anyone else.
“We understand that Notts County is a big club with a big media following,” he added. “But we haven’t let any external journalists in other than the Maidenhead Advertiser and we haven’t had any external radio in, and there was no reason to do it differently now.
“They’re frustrated, but it is what it is. That’s how we’ve done things, and our approach has been reflected in the limited impact COVID has had on us directly as a club. You can look at other clubs, including Notts County, and see that COVID has impacted them and their season.
“It’s nothing personal to Notts County, we haven’t treated them any differently to any other club. I understand their supporters are used to hearing their matches live on BBC, but we’ve not had the BBC in for anyone other side this season so it’s no different.”