After several failed attempts and trials to get sports spectators and fans into the stadium, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally announced yesterday in a virtual statement that fans will be able to return to football stadiums as from December 2nd.
Premier League and football league matches have been played behind closed doors since the outbreak of the virus in March.
Spectators were scheduled to return to stadiums from 1st October, but the sudden increase of infections in Europe led to the UK’s second major lockdown which was put in place on November 5.
The results of matches being played behind closed doors led to a major hit in the matchday revenues, which makes up a big part in the overall revenue of the clubs in England. This had a major impact on the revenues’ of clubs where they were hit with big debts.
“In tiers 1 and 2, spectators of sports and business events would be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing,” Johnson announced in a virtual statement.
However, the Prime Minister did not confirm the capacity limits or percentages of the fans to be allowed, but the UK Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, later outlined on Twitter that 4,000 spectators or 50% capacity limits, whichever is the lowest would be placed in tier-1, dropping to 2,000 or 50 per cent for indoor venues, while in tier-2, it will be 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors, or 50 per cent capacity.
The Premier League welcomed this development and released a statement saying: “Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and therefore we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today regarding the return of supporters for the first time since March, albeit at small numbers.
“Our ambition remains to work with Government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss.
“Premier League clubs have a proven track record of achieving high-biosecurity standards and we believe we can play a significant role in the Government’s rapid turnaround testing initiative.”
“We look forward to working with Government on their next steps.”
However, news reaching us this evening is that Premier League fans will NOT be allowed to sing, shout or drink alcohol when they can finally return to the stadiums. It is not confirmed yet, but we will keep you updated.