Gary Neville has taken to Twitter to suggest that the tier-related determination as to whether fans will be allowed back in stadiums could create an unlevel playing field.
As reported by the BBC earlier today, the government have ruled that fans will be allowed back in the stadiums of Premier League clubs for the first time since the pandemic was declared in March.
However, this will be done on a tier-by-tier basis, meaning that areas in a highest tier with tougher lockdown restrictions will have less, or no, fans within the confines of the stadium.
While we ought to be celebrating the fact that fans are allowed back at all, Gary Neville has suggested that there may be a hidden advantage for those in lower tier areas.
So some clubs will have fans backing them in home fixtures and others will have empty stadiums with no fans! Unfair competition or not??
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) November 23, 2020
He is right. Both Liverpool and Manchester were in tier three prior to the November lockdown, and if that remained unchanged, neither United, City or the Premier League champions would be allowed home support, per the BBC’s report.
However, those in other areas of the country would be.
While there is a slight competitive advantage there, and we would never like for one to be created in the Premier League, these are unprecedented circumstances.
We just want fans back, in their seats, watching football. Even if it’s just a few of them, even if it’s only in certain areas – at least there would be fans back at Premier League games.