On Monday evening, there appeared to be some welcome news from the UK Government after Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that up to 4,000 supporters would be allowed back into football grounds.
It’s worth stressing the ‘up to,’ as those football clubs whose grounds happen to fall into a higher tier post-lockdown will only be able to have 2,000 fans at best watching them, and some clubs will still have to play behind closed doors.
The decision quickly led to the Premier League making a statement.
“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 number,” it read, detailed by the Daily Star.
“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.”
At present, the Government are caught between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand they have the pressure of football club owners demanding their stadiums be allowed to open in order that they can begin to get in some gate receipts and match day revenue, whilst on the other they have to be mindful of the coronavirus spreading, which there is more chance of happening the larger the group of fans there are.
The quicker a vaccine is introduced, the better for everyone.