The Premier League has tonight issued a statement following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement to allow football fans to start returning to stadiums.
On Monday afternoon, Johnson set out his winter plan for the coronavirus pandemic, as he confirmed that the national lockdown in England will come to an end next week, with the country poised to return to the tiered system.
He announced that sports fans would be allowed to return to indoor arenas and outdoor stadiums in reduced capacities, but only if the respective area falls into a Tier One or Tier Two category.
If the stadium in question falls in a Tier One area, 4,000 fans will be allowed to return, or up to 50% of the stadium’s capacity, depending which figure is lower.
In Tier Two, 2,000 fans will be allowed to attend matches, or once again up to 50% of the stadium’s capacity, with it once again depending which figure is lower.
In response to that news, the Premier League has released a statement, confirming that they plan to remain in regular dialogue with the Government in an attempt to gradually increase the number of supporters allowed to return to Premier League stadia.
The statement said: “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.
“Our priority continues to be the agreement of a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs quickly scale up to larger capacities in line with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines and beyond.
“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.”
Should a Premier League stadium fall into a Tier One or Tier Two area, 4,000 or 2,000 fans, depending on the area, will be allowed to return over the first weekend in December.