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Plans were in place to ensure fans return to the stands from October 1, at least in limited numbers. But that might not be the case anymore.
The UK government has recently postponed the return of fans to the stadium indefinitely, due to a recent surge of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The cabinet office minister Michael Gove confirmed on Tuesday morning that the introduction of fans will have to be suspended for now as he said: “We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans.
“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.
“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”
The Premier League admitted their disappointment in this new decision, but planned to work with the government to ensure the safety of lives.
The Premier League released a statement, thus: “The Premier League notes the Government’s announcement today and while the health of the nation must remain everyone’s priority, we are disappointed that the safe return of supporters to matches has been postponed.
“The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Grounds Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted. ‘This is already evident in other European leagues.
“Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700m in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100m per month. This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities.
“We are confident that Premier League clubs, using innovative ways to get supporters safely back into grounds, will enable revenues to return to all levels of the game, as well as maintain solidarity arrangements, current tax contributions and financial support for local and national economies.
“While there is a current pause in a date for fans returning to sports venues, the Premier League and our clubs will not slow down in our preparations for providing safe, bio-secure environments.
“We will continue to work with Government to bring supporters safely back into grounds as soon as possible.”