Football UK

Premier League fear fans may not be allowed back in large numbers until 2021


Football League plans are hoping to stage test events with 1,000 fans from this weekend.

But that comes amid the Premier League fearing supporters may not be allowed back back in significant numbers until 2021 while England are likely to ditch plans to allow them in for next month’s friendly with Wales.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will meet with sports bodies later this week to discuss the planned return of spectators to sport from 1 October.

There is still a hope that test events can be staged but Premier League clubs are pushing for greater numbers but the Government are also urging caution.

It may be some time before fans return to stadiums in their numbers

Further confusion is also likely as some Premier League clubs and also Wembley fear it will not be cost effective to allow attendances of around 1,000.

But the EFL have written to clubs saying that following further discussions they are hopeful that test events with 1,000 fans can go ahead.

An EFL spokesman added: “The League is clear in its view that social distancing can be applied safely in football stadia and that having crowds at matches is an absolutely essential part of helping to protect club finances, which remain under extreme pressure.

When will fans return to Premier League stadiums in significant numbers? Have your say here.

Brighton hosted a pilot event at the Amex Stadium

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“Therefore, the successful delivery of further pilots will be an important step towards getting larger numbers of fans into grounds safely.”

MP Nigel Huddleston, who works in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, echoed the EFL’s message with a letter outlining the importance of this month’s pilot events.

“The government wants to see spectators back at sports events as soon and as safely as possible,” Huddleston wrote.

“We have made important progress in staging a series of pilot and test events across different sports with more to follow.

“The pilot programme will continue throughout September, restricted to a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.

“The success of these events will be reviewed ahead of the current date of October 1 for reopening for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions more widely if public health conditions permit.”

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