Altrincham bosses are ready to spread some festive cheer by opening their doors to supporters and allowing them back into The J.Davidson Stadium after an absence of more than nine months.

With hopes rising that restrictions in Trafford will be eased when the tier system is reviewed next week, Alty are drawing up plans for accommodating supporters once more after being forced to play behind closed doors ever since last season’s 4-1 win over Spennymoor Town at the beginning of March.

Should Trafford be re-positioned in tier 2, the Robins would be looking to welcome fans back into the ground for an FA Trophy tie on Saturday, December 19, if they are drawn at home, or alternatively the eagerly-awaited National League derby meeting with Stockport County on Boxing Day.

"This is the Christmas present that every Alty fan would want – the return of fans to The J. Davidson Stadium,'" said co-chairman Bill Waterson. "Of course, we need to be elevated to tier 2 in the Covid league table, but it is possible this could happen as early as December 16.

"The criteria for capacity sets the maximum figure for The J. Davidson Stadium at 1,152. This is slightly reduced from our original expectation of 1,431, but we would prefer to house 1,152 securely, rather than risk the health of a greater number.

"To be clear, any game we stage with fans in attendance will be for home fans only, and we will be putting in place strict prioritisation of sales.

"The first priority will go to our season ticket holders. Alongside them come our major sponsors, all of whom have remained loyal to us, and in addition, our 48 Vice-Presidents will be in the first wave of prioritisation.

"Next in line come our Patrons, over 300 of them at the last count, followed by contributors to Robins Rewards, the monthly scheme that is supporting Phil Parkinson’s playing budget.

"And finally, we have a list of those that donated to our fundraising back at the start of the pandemic – they will also benefit from demonstrating such fantastic generosity.

"If we do get promoted to tier 2, and we are drawn at home in the FA Trophy, we will aim to host a pilot event on Saturday, December 19, with a reduced capacity of perhaps 400-500.

"All ticket sales will be in advance, electronically through our website by card payment. There may also be the possibility to buy a ticket over the phone. Furthermore, we will be asking all fans to sign up to a code of conduct as part of the ticket-buying process.

"We have seen the consequences of not obeying the guidelines at Weymouth last weekend, where due to a lack of social distancing in their game against Halifax Town, their capacity has been reduced for forthcoming fixtures. We do not want that at Moss Lane."