Bristol Rovers Football Club can today confirm that due to issues outside of the club’s control, the new South Stand development will not be ready for the start of the season.
As many of you will be aware, the club has pursued an ambitious plan to improve the facilities at the Mem and increase the number of seats heading into this season. This is following the recent reductions in the capacity of the terrace areas and a desire to increase the number of standard and disabled seating options, whilst getting the capacity back up to previous levels.
Prior to the release of the fixtures, the club requested through the appropriate EFL channels that the first two matches of the season be away from home. Unfortunately, this request was not possible due to fixture sequencing and compilation rules.
Upon the release of the fixtures, we asked Barnsley to consider a reversal, they ultimately determined that they were not able to agree as it would disrupt their own fixture schedule, which is a decision they are entitled to take under the regulations.
Following this, we have been in discussions with the EFL to assess our options. This included looking into the possibility for a postponement whilst also reviewing the processes required to facilitate supporters attending the game safely. However, the EFL has informed us that if the Club was unable to fulfil this or any other fixture, it would result in an investigation under the Regulations. As a club, this isn’t a risk that we were prepared to take, despite the mitigating circumstances in this instance.
We appreciate that time is now tight before the game so our team will be looking to contact all those currently with season tickets in the affected areas to discuss their specific requirements to see if we can move you to another part of the ground for this fixture. This process will start immediately, and we urge all supporters involved to remain patient whilst our team attempt to find a solution for you.
Sadly, away supporters for this fixture will be limited to 500 terrace tickets, with no disabled or accessible seating available. This stance has been accepted by Barnsley, our visitors.
We would like to apologise to both our supporters and those looking to attend from Barnsley for all of the inconvenience.
Moving forward we will continue to review the situation on a match-by-match basis and update supporters as early as possible as to the plans for each fixture.
The club is continuing to work with local residents and the local planning authority regarding this application. Following some delays, the planning application has been registered by the council and is currently being assessed. You can review this detail and have your say on the planning portal here.