English fan bans leaves clubs scrambling for ways to keep season ticket holders engaged

September 23 – Premier League clubs are considering ways of allowing season ticket holders access matches not due to be broadcast live on television following the British government’s controversial decision to scrap the idea of a phased return of fans into stadiums from October 1 due to a resurgence of Covid-19.

Reports say talks between the Premier League and the 20 clubs are yet to take place over how to proceed given Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that it could be up to six months before the rules are eased.

The Premier League has been continually lobbying government but is losing the battle and now has to find ways of appeasing fans who have bought season tickets as well as dealing with the continuing financial burden of having no fans in stadiums for an extended period.

The Premier League say “the football economy is unsustainable” without fans attending matches. But it is a lot worse for lower-league teams  and Football Supporters’ Association chief executive Kevin Miles said the organisation has written to the government to “stress how important it is that we start to allow fans back into games”.

“Feedback from our members at test events has confirmed high levels of compliance with all the health and safety measures put in place, and that they felt safer at games than they have done in many other social situations,” said Miles.

“Having fans at games is of course not only important to the lives of supporters, it is also crucial to the survival of so many clubs who play a crucial role within their communities. A combination of revenue at the ground and government support is urgently needed to keep clubs going.”

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