SWINDON Supermarine vice-chairman Keith Yeomans says the club’s decision to make their friendly with Swindon Town a reduced-capacity all-ticket affair was down to ensuring social distancing is properly maintained.

The Webbswood Stadium has a capacity of 3000, but under FA and government guidelines Marine would only be allowed 50 per cent of that.

However, Mr Yeomans said the club decided to go one step further and cap the potential attendance at 1000 in order to ensure there are no excess breakouts of Covid-19 when Town arrive at the Webbswood on July 6.

Marine’s vice-chair went on to explain. He said: “We could have 50 per cent of our capacity, but we haven’t gone that far – that’s mainly because of Covid.

“If Boris Johnson had reduced the restrictions as planned, then of course it would have been different.

“If you have a look around the country, people weren’t really social-distancing anyway when they were supposed to.

“We were getting crowds of 300 and people weren’t doing it. So instead of having the maximum amount of people allowed, we’ve gone 33 per cent less than that to encourage people to safely stand inside the ground.”

Tickets can only be purchased online courtesy of Marine’s website and will be accepted in paper form or on each individual fan’s mobile device at the gate.

Prices have been set at £10 for adults, £8 for over 60s, £6 for 12-17-year-olds, and free for under 11s who are accompanied by an adult.

Marine’s vice chair admitted that ticket sales would have to dramatically increase for the club to get anywhere near their new-look capacity anyway, but that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in order to maintain everyone’s safety.

Mr Yeomans said: “The way ticket sales are going, we’re only looking at 500 or 600 people anyway – which would be ideal to help the social distancing.

“It won’t damage the club’s finances too badly, and when you consider we haven’t had a friendly with Town for a couple of years now, we’ve still done OK.

“This game will be a part of our fundraising project before the season kicks off, but if it doesn’t happen then we have to find other resolutions like we have done for the last season or two.”