Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has outlined his hopes of having up to 10,000 fans at the final two games of the current campaign.
It’s just over a year since the league’s last game took place with a capacity crowd between Leicester City and Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium on March 9th, with the majority of this season having been played without supporters.
Aside from a brief period before Christmas in which a handful of clubs were able to see as many as 2,000 fans return, most top-flight sides have not been able to welcome back home support since before last season’s three-month league hiatus.
However, following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ announcement a few weeks ago, there is hope that the climax to the season could see clubs able to welcome back an albeit reduced capacity.
The current plan would see sporting venues permitted to allow up to 10,000 fans to return from May 17, opening up the possibility that the final two games of the Premier League season could see supporters back in stadiums.
While their remains potential obstacles, such as potentially having to have pilot events, Masters appeared excited by the chance to end the season with a flourish, as well as laying out his hopes of having a ‘normal Premier league’ next term.
“The Government’s roadmap is really welcome because it sets out a plan for a return of supporters, so hopefully the final two fixtures of our season will have up to 10,000 supporters in them all,” he told Premier League Productions.
“We’ve got to go past those initial steps in the Government’s roadmap to get there, so hopefully that will be a fantastic finale to the end of our season.
“From the beginning of next season onwards, our goal is to have full stadia and obviously the Government’s roadmap offers us that opportunity.
“There’s a lot of water to pass under the bridge before that can happen but that’s our ultimate goal. The return of full vibrant Premier League stadia and a return to the normal Premier League.”