Coronavirus: Stevenage 'giving back' to community

Stevenage ground
Stevenage were bottom of League Two when fixtures were suspended earlier this month

Stevenage chief executive Alex Tunbridge says the club want to "play their part" in fighting coronavirus.

The League Two club moved all their resources into a community outreach programme for the over 70s last week.

Pensioners, who are more likely to be severely affected by the virus, have been told to self-isolate.

"We ask our community to come and support us week in and week out and we have the opportunity to support them now," Tunbridge told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We're going to stand up and play our part in the fight."

He added: "It was a bit of a culture shock moving from football to this. We do a lot of work in the community anyway but all staff are involved in this programme."

Tunbridge said the programme would provide four key services - a chat, a foodbank, a sandwich service and an errand service.

He said they took between 30 and 40 calls on Monday but was expecting demand for their help, available to anyone over 70 in the Stevenage area, to increase over the rest of the week.

Like many EFL clubs Stevenage, who are bottom of League Two, have seen their revenue vastly reduced.

Chairman Phil Wallace said last week that he had "no idea" how the club could survive for long without money coming in.

"There are nerves about the place," Tunbridge said.

"We have no income coming into the club so we need to safeguard the future of our football club to make sure it is here when we return to playing.

"We haven't had a home game since the middle of February because of the weather and we were due to have six more before the end of the season.

"We've lost the income not just from the gates but the bars and subsidiary sales and all our conference and banqueting facilities have closed along with our academy pitch hire.

"We've had literally all our income streams stripped from us aside from the core EFL payments."