The Premier League are pushing for fans to be allowed back in stadiums for the last two games of the season, following Boris Johnson’s announcement last week.
The UK Prime Minister outlined his ‘roadmap’ for lifting the current lockdown restrictions last Monday, with step three of the plan seeing crowds of up to 10,000 – or 25 per cent capacity – return to sporting venues from 17 May.
Not only has this offered hope of having supporters at this summer’s European Championships, but with the final day of the Premier League season currently set to take place on 23 May, there is the potential for fans to return to grounds for at least one game.
For most sides, they have been without any supporters since this time last year when the pandemic first hit, with only a handful of clubs allowed to have 2000 fans return prior to the festive period, before the tightening of regulations ended that relatively brief return of crowds.
According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League are pushing the Government to allow fans back into grounds for the final two games of the season, with the plan to push the penultimate round of fixtures back slightly.
That would not only be a huge boost for the climax of the season, but would also be a fairer proposition as every team would be able to host a home game with supporters.
Previously there had been worries that potentially crucial games such as the final day clash between relegation threatened Fulham and Newcastle would give an advantage to the home side, although having the penultimate round of games also with supporters would somewhat alleviate that potentially unequal scenario.
The problem now is getting permission from the Government to stage these two rounds of fixtures without having to hold test events, top-flight club’s believing they have already proved they can house fans safely, as shown when supporters were briefly allowed to return back in December.
According to the report, it is not anticipated that there will be much opposition to the Premier League’s proposal, while the idea is that the Carabao Cup final – due to take place on 25 April – could be used as a pilot event, although this is yet to be confirmed.