September 14 – The English Premier League has called on the government to rethink its plans on the proposed return of fans to stadiums in the wake of increasing Covid-19 infections.
While other European countries are already allowing a phased return of fans, test events in the UK have been put on hold, derailing plans for crowds to return from October 1.
If and when the policy changes, pilot events will be capped at a capacity of 1,000.
In a strongly-worded statement, which took many observers by surprise, the Premier League condemned the prolonged absence of fans and warned of the continuing economic consequences.
“With test events now capped at 1,000 supporters, we believe they will not provide any opportunity to properly test and evaluate measures designed to maximise fan safety,” the letter said. “At 1,000 supporters, not only would there be little to learn from a test event, but each match would be heavily loss-making.”
“For each month of the season without fans, more than £100 million is lost to football across the leagues, with consequent damage to the local and national economy. It also harms the employment prospects of more than 100,000 people whose jobs depend on match-day activities.”
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