Aberdeen Football Club have announced measures to support fans and the wider community during the coronavirus outbreak – including potentially opening up Pittodrie’s Richard Donald Stand concourse as a Covid-19 testing facility.
A statement on the Dons’ website, detailing a “two-pronged” approach said the club plans on “providing information to and engaging with people, particularly those in isolation, and offering practical support to those in need and, potentially, to the emergency services.”
Among the steps Aberdeen have announced is working with Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) to make deliveries of food to AFC Community Trust frequented areas of the region, in an attempt to stave off food poverty amid school closures.
The Dons have also proposed deliveries of other essentials, phone check-ins with isolated fans, an online campaign to encourage fans to support local businesses and offered the RDS concourse to the health services.
Chairman Dave Cormack said: “Aberdeen Football Club has been at the heart of our community for over 100 years. Today, we stand ready to do whatever we can to assist the community in what is a rapidly escalating, unprecedented situation.
“Our response to the crisis facing us is one of solidarity and support. We have drawn up a battle plan which will allow us to provide practical support to those who need it most and to bring our fans and the community together in our fight against the virus.
“As the biggest club in our region with a fantastic and loyal fanbase, we have a unique platform to connect with people of all ages, from all backgrounds across all parts of the city region and beyond. With over 100,000 people on our database, over 300,000 followers on social media and, through the reach of AFC Community Trust, interactions with thousands more, we are in a position to engage with the community through content that educates, comforts, reassures and even brings a smile to all those affected, but particularly those suffering from loneliness, anxiety and fear.
“In normal circumstances, we’re a daily topic of discussion and entertainment for supporters. As we face not only an as‐yet undetermined pause on football, but a much bigger global threat, we can provide familiarity in an unfamiliar world.
“Throughout our history, we have been supported by our revered and loyal Red Army, Standing Free every step of the way. Now, we will rally behind our fans and the wider community in their time of need.
“Alfredo Di Stefano once said that ‘Aberdeen have what money can’t buy, a soul, a team spirit, built in a family tradition’. By galvanising our fans and the wider community, we aim to build a Team Aberdeen approach to winning the war against COVID 19.”