FOOTBALL fans returning to the Amex stadium for the first time in six months have been described as "magnificent" for following new safety guidelines.

Brighton and Hove Albion deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber had high praise for spectators after today's match between Albion and Chelsea.

READ MORE: Christian Walton injured as Albion draw with Chelsea

He said: "Our fans have been incredible. Everyone was wearing masks and they religiously followed the signage.

The Argus: Paul Barber had high praise for fans todayPaul Barber had high praise for fans today

"They realised they had a lot of people watching them and they have set a good example.

"I'm very grateful to them - they were magnificent."

READ MORE: Brighton Albion fans 'buzzing' to be back at the Amex today

Mr Barber said it had been a challenge to win the confidence of the government to run the event, and the operations team had worked hard to organise the match after permission was granted on Wednesday.

A range of new safety measures were put in place, including a socially distant seating plan in the upper and lower sections of the East and South Stands, hand sanitising stations and a face mask rule within the grounds.

The Argus: Photo: Simon DackPhoto: Simon Dack

Random temperature checks were also carried out, with fans' details stored through the government's track and trace system.

Mr Barber added: "Scaling up is going to be the biggest challenge. As they stand, the guidelines work well for 2500 people.

"When we move to much bigger crowds and all four sides of the stadium is open, the more complex the process becomes.

"We are designed to operate at full capacity but we simply have to adapt."