Carlisle United have said a season ticket will be the best way to watch the Blues next season given the “much-reduced” capacity of Brunton Park under Covid-19 restrictions.

The Cumbrians have today written to existing season ticket holders advising them that they can start renewing their tickets from this Thursday.

Fans will then be able to pay for their season tickets from Monday, August 24, by which time they club say it will be clearer how many games will be behind closed doors and how many will be open to supporters.

New season tickets will also go on general sale that day.

For a number of weeks, fans have been asking the club when tickets will be available. United said they were now in a position to share their plans.

In the letter, chief executive Nigel Clibbens explains that fans should not expect to be guaranteed their usual seats because of the social distancing measures they will have to implement in the stands.

He also said terracing spaces would be managed in “zones” with a one-way system introduced – while supporters should expect to have to wear face coverings when in the ground.

Clibbens said in the letter: “Although things will be different when football fans are finally able to return to Brunton Park, we are looking forward to welcoming you all.

“We will be faced with a much-reduced capacity under the new Covid restrictions, and we would advise that a season ticket is the best way to try to guarantee that you can watch live games at Brunton Park, as well as being the best value for money.

“Although we know the league season will start on September 12 and end on May 8, we still do not know how many of those home games will be played behind closed doors, how many teams will be in our division [which affects the number of games at home] or what our final capacity for fans will be.

“We don’t want to sell season tickets, take your money and then be faced with turning fans away - either because we are playing behind closed doors or are not granted enough capacity. This has determined our approach this year.

“We now feel the time is right to inform you of our season ticket plans for 2020/21 and begin offering renewals.”

From Thursday, existing season ticket holders can contact the club if they want to renew.

Fans can inform United of their preferred terrace or seat area and these will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis because of the reduced capacity in certain areas of the ground, “especially in the west stand”.

Clibbens added: “These social distancing arrangements will mean that many supporters will see their ‘usual’ seat now become unavailable for purchase as we commence the season. Therefore we need all season ticket holders to be understanding and flexible with their season ticket choices.

“In previous years we have reserved your seat for the duration of the renewal purchase period. Unfortunately, we will NOT be able to reserve specific seats or terracing areas for the 20/21 season. We will still do our very best to accommodate your needs and appoint the nearest seat for you.”

From August 24, Clibbens said United should be as sure as they can be about the number of behind-closed-doors games that were likely, the number they would play at home and the number of home games fans could attend – this would allow them to calculate the cost of a season ticket.

The director added: “This ensures, as far as possible, fans are only charged for games they can attend.

“If something unexpected happens to prevent fans attending, after you have paid, we will make other arrangements– depending on the circumstances.”

Fans who have reserved their season tickets will be notified by email and be given seven days to complete payment.

Season tickets will then go on general sale from August 24.

Clibbens’ letter also sets out the expected social distancing measures United plan to implement, which remain subject to change depending on Government and EFL guidance.

“Terraced areas will be managed in zones,” the letter said. “There will also be a new one-way system in place to help us to control movement safely.”

Certain restrictions would also apply to seated areas to ensure social distancing between fans. All end-of-aisle seats would be unavailable and every other row of seats would also be out of bounds.

The letter adds: “There must be two vacant seats between each household, family or social bubble. Social bubbles must be identified at the point of ticket reservation and can only be made up from two households of up six people in total.”

All seated areas of Brunton Park should be open and available for use, the club add.

Season-ticket renewal prices are (seating) £362 adult, £305 senior and (terracing) £305 adult, £248 senior. These are based on a 23-game season but the actual cost will be calculated on a pro-rate basis for the number of games fans can actually attend.

Other categories, United say, are “already very heavily discounted compared with match day prices. We have lowered them even further to reflect fewer games fans will be allowed into the stadium. These prices are fixed.”

These include young person (£125), junior (£85), under-11 (£10) and family junior (£75).

Because of social distancing guidelines, United say their ticket exchange scheme cannot currently be operated.

There will also be no Junior Blues membership scheme for the 2020/21 season but “if circumstances change we will consider an event for our younger fans later in the season”.

The club say all fans will be required to comply with a Covid spectator code of conduct, which is currently being formulated in consultation with supporters’ groups and the safety advisory group.

Clibbens added: “At this point, fans should presume they could be required to wear face coverings within the stadium.

“It is important fans personally consider whether they should attend games when fans are allowed back into the stadium. If you are in any doubt, please do not reserve a season ticket.”