Our 2020/21 season starts on Saturday, albeit behind closed doors, and so we wanted to update fans on many matters including what the arrangements are for how we will manage this phase and the gradual return to football in front of unrestricted crowds.
It will doubtless be a very strange experience starting our campaign in an empty stadium, and we have no doubt that the players will miss having their 12th man there in person, but it is a small step in the journey towards normality and so we are grateful for that.
We would have liked to have been able to communicate the arrangements for supporters earlier, but this is such a fluid situation, with new guidance coming out regularly and still much uncertainty regarding the future, so it is only now that we have any degree of certainty at least for phase one.
Behind closed doors matches
Games for September at least will be played behind closed doors. As such the number of people permitted in the stadium is very strictly controlled, with even all non-essential staff being excluded.
Ray Mathias Lounge (previously Platinum Lounge) season ticket holders
If you are an Ray Mathias Lounge season ticket holder, for each behind closed doors home match you will be entitled to receive free of charge (i) coverage on iFollow (League games only); (ii) a hard copy programme (League games); (iii) a “virtual equaliser” ticket; and (iv) a voucher for either a guest Ray Mathias Lounge dining upgrade (enabling a guest to upgrade from a standard match ticket to a Ray Mathias Lounge ticket), or for £20 off the cost of a Ray Mathias Lounge guest ticket, to be used once crowds are permitted to return and hospitality can be offered as normal.
Ian Muir Lounge (previously Gold Lounge) season ticket holders
If you are a Ian Muir Lounge season ticket holder, for each behind closed doors home match you will be entitled to receive free of charge (i) coverage on iFollow (League games only); (ii) a hard copy programme (League); (iii) a voucher for a free drink (pint of beer, glass of wine, single spirit and mixer or soft drink of your choice) to be used once crowds are permitted to return and hospitality can be offered as normal.
Standard season ticket holders
Season ticket holders in any other area of the stadium will be entitled to receive free of charge (i) coverage on iFollow (League games only) and a free electronic programme.
During this phase, all hospitality will remain closed, including the Marquee. The Club Store will also be closed on home match-days and we would ask supporters to stay away from Prenton Park on those days.
Limited capacity games
We have been working on a number of scenarios for the return of supporters to Prenton Park on a socially distanced basis. Neither the Government nor the EFL are imposing a specific percentage capacity limit on stadiums – the maximum capacity that can be accommodated is calculated for each individual stadium based on requirements for social distancing and as such may change from match to match depending on the numbers of spectators from within household bubbles, who can be sat next to each other.
We expect our capacity to be in the region of 3,000 supporters for each game, whilst the social distancing guidelines remain as at present. We are looking at all options in order to maximise the number of the SWA that we can seat.
Admission to limited capacity games will be offered first to season ticket holders. In the event that there is spare capacity after all season ticket holders who wish to attend have been allocated a seat, we will open up tickets to non-season ticket holders.
In the event that we have more season ticket holders wanting to attend than can be accommodated, space will be allocated on a ballot system. Any season ticket holder who is unable to gain access through the ballot will be prioritised for a seat for the following match and receive an iFollow match pass for the game they are not attending in person.
Please note that during this phase, season ticket holders are not guaranteed to be able to sit in their allocated season ticket seat. In order to comply with social distancing, we will need to spread spectators throughout the stadium, although where possible we will try to keep people in their usual stand.
Please also note that during this phase we are likely to be severely restricted with regards to the hospitality that can be offered and as such the Ian Muir and Ray Mathias Lounges may not be able to operate as usual. For matches where we are unable to offer the usual food offering we will offer food or drink vouchers to be used at a future date. We will also continue to provide complimentary hard copy programmes to Ian Muir and Ray Mathias season ticket holders.
Anyone unable to attend the match in person will be able to watch on iFollow (complimentary for season ticket holders for home league matches only).
- How do I watch a match using iFollow?
To subscribe to iFollow, please click this link - https://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/ifollow/. Then please select the icon ‘see all packages’. From there, you can select wish iFollow package you wish to subscribe for, with five options available.
If you are a season ticket holder, the Club will communicate with you in the coming days providing information for your free match pass for our league match at home to Cheltenham Town on Saturday 19th September.
The three matches prior to the game against Cheltenham Town, Harrogate Town at home (Carabao Cup), Port Vale away (EFL Trophy) and Mansfield away (league) will be available to purchase as a match pass for all supporters. Each individual game will cost £10.
The iFollow log in account page can be found here - https://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/my-account/
- I am entitled to a free hard copy programme for each game. How do I claim my copy?
Programmes will be kept at Prenton Park and the Club’s new charity shop in the Pyramids. Ian Muir and Ray Mathias Lounge holders can collect their complimentary copy from either location.
- How do I claim my free vouchers for the Platinum Lounge food or for drinks?
We will distribute meal/upgrade and drinks vouchers to supporters when they attend their first game once supporters are allowed back in the ground from the relevant lounge entrance. For programmes, we will leave for collection in the Club Shop unless they contact us separately via email to request collection from the Charity Shop. We can arrange postage of programmes at an additional cost.
- Ian Muir and Ray Mathias Lounge season ticket holders get the first round of cup games included in their season ticket. Why are we not offering free iFollow passes to them for those matches?
The rules set by the EFL for iFollow during the pandemic mean that we can offer iFollow free to season ticket holders for League games, as any iFollow revenue is kept by the Club. However for cup games the iFollow income is shared by the Clubs and we therefore cannot offer complimentary access without providing cash compensation to the other Club.
- Who gets the money if I pay for iFollow?
For home League games, the Club receives 70% of the subscription fee with the rest going to pay for the service. For home cup games, the net money is split between both Clubs.
For away League games, the home Club keeps the money from the first 500 away supporters but anything over this number is paid to the away Club, so it does directly benefit Tranmere if significant numbers of our supporters pay to watch away games on iFollow.