Guernsey FC set to start season in October as Covid-19 travel rules relaxed

Guernsey FC v FC Isle of Man
More than 1,000 people watched Guernsey FC beat FC Isle of Man on penalties last September to win the Skipton Cup - their last match of any description

Guernsey FC are set to return to action at the start of October after the relaxation of Covid-19 travel rules.

From next month non-vaccinated travellers from the UK will be able to come to the island provided they take a lateral flow test.

Guernsey FC have not played a competitive game since 22 February 2020 due to the pandemic.

Their first game will be a trip to Sutton Common Rovers on 2 October in Isthmian League South Central Division.

"We wrote to our league last night to request that we commence our fixtures with effect from 2 October," Guernsey FC chairman Mark Le Tissier told BBC Radio Guernsey.

"We await their reply, but we don't anticipate it'll be a problem.

"People are excited about it for sure, but we're not under any illusion about how much work is involved now in such a short space of time."

The club's season had already been put back twice, having pulled out of the league last season, and they were facing a second season out if they could not begin matches by November.

The club's pre-season games with FC Isle of Man this summer were postponed and the islanders last played a competitive game on 22 February 2020, when they lost 6-0 to Ashford United.

New rules mean games can now go ahead, but Le Tissier is critical of the decision by Guernsey's government to charge travellers £25 for lateral flow tests - a cost that the club will have to pay for both their own players and visiting players and officials.

"The additional administration work surrounding travel tracker for 30 people coming in from the UK and having to pay the £25 lateral flow tests and then refund all their monies - the amount of administration and additional costs to our club for what really?

"Just so that the States can gather in a few more pounds, I don't think that's right and it's time that the States made a decision whether they want sport in this island or they don't."

He added: "Having to pay £25, is going to cost us an extra £750 for a home game and £500 for an away game.

"Yes that might only be for a short space of time but we don't know for how long, so how can we, as a business, plan whether we can actually afford that?"