NEWPORT County AFC are lobbying the Welsh Government about allowing supporters back into Rodney Parade to cheer on the League Two leaders.

The Exiles could soon be playing in front of fans – but only on their travels.

The UK government has announced that a maximum of 4,000 supporters will be allowed into grounds in low-risk areas when the lockdown in England ends on December 2.

County entertain Morecambe on Saturday, December 5 but as things stand the fixture will still be played behind closed doors.

The same applies for the Dragons, who welcome Wasps to Rodney Parade on December 12 in the European Champions Cup.

The region are also pushing for a return for supporters but are sure to suffer a financial hit from having to play their Boxing Day derby against Cardiff Blues, usually a packed house, in front of a reduced crowd as a best-case scenario.

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The Exiles have sold around 1,000 season tickets for 2020/21 – down on their usual 2,000 – but are hopeful of Welsh decision-makers soon allowing the punters back in.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with Welsh Government, the policy-makers and indeed our local politicians,” said chairman Gavin Foxall.

“I have engaged with them to understand their position because it is a devolved issue as a public health decision, while we have also engaged with the EFL.

“It’s obviously a difficult decision to make and we fully respect that but for us a club there are a number of different elements, one of which is the financial perspective and another is what coming to the football means in terms of the wellbeing and mental health of our supporters.

“What we will continue to do is engage with Welsh Government to hopefully arrive at a positive outcome for our club and supporters, although we respect they need to do some due diligence on that.”

The devil is in the detail but County have worked with Rodney Parade bosses to make sure fans can return as soon as possible.

The site is currently being used as a coronavirus testing centre but that would not impact the ability to play in front of fans, with those that normally enter from the northern end of the ground being able to come in through southern entrances.

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Foxall said: “We are doing a lot of work in the background with colleagues at Rodney Parade to ensure that we are ready when any decision is made by the authorities that says ‘you can have crowd X and this is the framework that you need to work within’.

“A lot of work has been done on this already and we were previously in dialogue with Welsh Government when they were looking for pilot events.

“Work has been done on the stadium and, the configuration of the ground and how it could potentially be done.

“There has also been work from the EFL about how to operate in a safe way and there are lessons from the early pilots at Cambridge and other grounds.

“It very much depends on the detail. If it’s a complete change from what had been said previously then there is a little bit more work to do but if it’s not and it’s broadly similar to the previous outline then we are in a decent position.”

Grimsby and Leyton Orient could well be backed by fans when they entertain Michael Flynn’s side.

County season ticket holders are currently having to make do with watching games on iFollow after being able to back their club financially and they will be the ones first to profit when the doors open.

“We have always said that season ticket holders will be at the front of the queue – they have to be because they have paid for the product," he said.

“We need to understand the detail so that we can make informed decisions on how we go about it and how many we can have in the stadium in a safe and comfortable environment.

“What’s really important is that we have to be confident we are providing that safe and comfortable environment for fans to come and support the team. That’s paramount.”