Government to allow fans to return to Premier League games next season with partial stadium reopenings
The government plans to let fans return to Premier League games next season with advanced talks for partial stadium reopenings starting in September
- Premier League clubs expect supporters to return to stadiums next season
- For security reasons, games are currently played behind closed doors
- However, discussions are ongoing about partial stadium reopenings for 2020-21
- Clubs are looking for fan feedback on a number of important issues
Premier League clubs have told fans they expect the government to attend games next season as the EFL has canceled plans for a limited trial of supporters in stadiums next week.
Top flying clubs have entered a period of consultation with supporter groups in preparation for a ‘partial return of fans to stadiums’ at the start of the 2020-21 campaign. The EFL is also working to reintroduce fans next season after being forced to cancel an ambitious plan to test small crowds on the last day of the current championship season.
A Sportsmail memo alleges that the discussions regarding partial reopenings of the stadium in the top flight are at an “advanced stage” and that a government announcement will come “very soon.”
Premier League clubs expect fans to attend matches for the 2020-21 season
Talks with the government are at an advanced stage about partial stadium reopenings
The correspondence also states that the upcoming season will begin in mid-September – clubs are working towards September 12 – with concerns that they don’t have much time to take the necessary measures.
Once the government has confirmed their approach to fan return, it is left to the Premier League and individual clubs to draw up a plan for the proposed return. Some of the key points where clubs seek fan feedback include:
How to distribute tickets fairly if, as expected, capacity is reduced.
Whether fans would like to reveal their health data.
How they would travel to games and whether they would feel safe going to competitions by public transport.
Whether subscribers would be satisfied with not sitting in their normal seat.
Clubs are looking for fan feedback on some important reopening issues
The arrival and departure of supporters is a major problem, as clubs want to take measures to ensure their safety. Clubs are exploring the possibility of issuing staggered arrival and departure times for fans during the opening phase to allow them access to the grounds again.
Outside of the top flight, the EFL board had developed proposals for a series of testing events that will take place at championship matches considered dead rubbers on the last day of the season next Wednesday. But time constraints and the limited number of games that don’t run on anything have led to the plan being put on hold.
It comes after the EFL plans to reintroduce fans for the last game of the season
As a result, the EFL focuses on gaining government support for fans to return to stadiums next season, with the added ambition that small crowds will be allowed to attend games for the season next month.
If the trials are successful, it is hoped that the site can be reopened at 25 percent capacity in September before more fans are welcomed later in the season.
Ensuring the return of supporters is vital to the economic viability of many clubs in the EFL, where match day receipts contribute more than a third of revenue for some clubs.