EPL chief, Leagues demand return of fans to stadiums

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in action with Everton’s Seamus Coleman. Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

The government was hoping to allow the return of 25 to 30 percent capacity crowd from Oct. 1, but last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson said those plans were put on hold.

They were part of new restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, FA Director of women’s football Kelly Simmons and EFL chief executive David Baldwin have said that they have been working together.

This will enable them to make the venues safe for the return of fans.

“With the EFL, Premier League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship already staging 11 successful test events recently, we have demonstrated that we can deliver matches safely,” the letter said.

“The sooner we can return, the sooner we can reunite communities and support local jobs, livelihoods, regional businesses and also the national economy.”

Spectators have been either prohibited or allowed in limited numbers as part of pilot programmes at football games in England due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has claimed more than 42,000 lives in the UK, according to a Reuters tally.

The governing bodies said the clubs have already proven they have all the safety measures in place for safe return of fans.

They added also that they remain open to adopting innovations as part of a mass-testing project.

“We will continue to urge government to allow us to return fans safely to stadiums. It is positive progress that major arts and music venues have been told they can run socially-distanced events indoors,” the letter added.

“And now football should be allowed to do the same —— in highly regulated and stewarded outdoor environments.”(Reuters/NAN)