A FOOTBALL club boss says the Prime Minister has “threatened the livelihoods of staff and local businesses” after his U-turn on allowing fans into stadiums.

Colchester United has been meticulously preparing to welcome back its die-hard supporters, following months of uncertainty as a result of coronavirus.

The club has gone to great lengths to ensure its stadium is a safe environment in which fans can cheer-on their beloved team.

Just shy of 2,000 seats, for example, have been removed to ensure social distancing can be adhered to and changes have been made to enlarge areas around the facility.

But following an unsettling few weeks, during which the number of Covid-19 cases has once again increased, Boris Johnson has put renewed restrictions in place.

This includes delaying the reintroduction of football fans, which has not gone down well with Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling.

In an open letter, penned to the Prime Minister, Mr Cowling said: “I’m sure you can imagine how devastated I was to hear that you have taken a broad brush approach which has rendered all of that work in vain and has stopped us from doing the one fundamental thing all businesses need to do and that is trade.

“Whilst working towards the return of our fans, we have totally understood the need for safety, and we have taken all of the measures required to ensure our stadium is safe.

“This decision you have made not only threatens the livelihoods of the staff at Colchester United but the businesses that rely on our club.

“I appreciate you are having to make difficult decisions but this was one area where you didn’t need to do a thing.

“We had it all under control and everything is in place to allow professional clubs to open safely.

“When I’m having to lay off even more staff, can someone explain how I can safely sit in a confined aeroplane with 300 passengers but I can’t safely attend a football match?”

Read the full letter by clicking here.