Premier League clubs may REJECT chance to bring fans back due to fear of losing more money



Premier League clubs could reject the possibility of welcoming fans back to their home ground next week due to cost concerns and the lack of a roadmap to full capacity crowds.

Sports messaging has been told that if their running costs vary, the top 20 clubs would lose significant sums if they admit even the maximum number of 4,000 fans announced by the government on Monday – a limit that will likely not be allowed in large country areas.

The Premier League defied the government in September by canceling scheduled test events due to discontent with Downing Street’s capacity cap of 1,000, which they deemed unprofitable, and some of their clubs may do so again.

Fans have been out of Premier League stadiums since March amid coronavirus crisis

It is understood that most of the 20 clubs are operating at a breakeven point of at least 10,000 ticket sales. That number is likely to be higher in the coming months, given the additional security costs associated with ensuring a secure environment by Covid on the ground.

Manchester United issued a statement on Monday evening welcoming the government’s announcement and stressing that the club “are ready to welcome fans back to Old Trafford as soon as it is safe to do so”. But the Premier League has made its concerns clear.

A statement read: “Fans have been greatly missed in Premier League matches and we therefore welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of the return of supporters for the first time since March, albeit in small numbers.

“Our ambition remains to work with the government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will not be able to attend matches and our clubs will continue to host matches at a loss.

Fans will be eager to return to the stadiums after watching from home recently

Fans will be eager to return to the stadiums after watching from home recently

In addition to the sheer cost, there are also concerns about the lack of details from the government on how the clubs could possibly upgrade to larger capacities.

This issue was summed up by the apparent lack of involvement of the Sports Technology Industry Group – an independent team of health and technology experts who have worked on high-tech solutions to facilitate the return to full stadiums. The Premier League statement added: “Our priority remains agreeing on a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs move quickly to greater capacities in accordance with at the Sports Ground Safety Authority. Covid-secure directives and beyond.

“Premier League clubs have a proven track record of meeting high biosecurity standards and we believe we can play an important role in the government’s rapid testing initiative. “

Clubs will wait for the government to release details of the revamped regional level system – which will determine how many fans can attend events in different parts of the country – before confirming individual positions.

Boris Johnson confirmed fans can return to stadiums once lockdown is lifted on December 2

Boris Johnson has confirmed fans can return to stadiums once the lockdown is lifted on December 2

In consultation with local safety advisory groups, clubs strive to achieve occupancy rates of between 25 and 33% when supporters are allowed to return. The Premier League insists that social distancing can be maintained at these levels.

But the government turnout figure on Monday was much smaller, with a maximum of 4,000 fans allowed to participate in outdoor events in low-risk areas from December 2, 2000 at level 2 and none at level 3. .

The RFU is yet to decide whether it will look to admit fans to the Autumn Nations Cup final at Twickenham on December 5, with a maximum of 2,000 likely to be allowed as London will almost certainly be on par. 2 or level 3.

Premier League chief Richard Masters praised the government's decision

Premier League chief Richard Masters praised the government’s decision

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said it takes a crowd of 25,000 in the 80,000-seat stadium to make it viable, although in the Premiership that figure is around 4,000.

The EFL is more excited about the announcement, which will provide potential life for several League One and League Two clubs.

While the issue of sporting integrity has been raised due to the fact that supporters are only allowed to attend matches in certain parts of the country, there is no serious opposition to reopening the turnstiles in the country. next week where permitted.

“The EFL welcomes the decision to allow the return of supporters when the national lockout ends next week,” an EFL spokesperson said. “We are now looking forward to the reopening of some EFL club stadiums as we finally welcome the supporters. “


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