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Government Still Backing Plans For Supporters To Return To Stadiums Next Month

The Premier League has been working towards allowing fans back to stadiums on October 3rd. While it’ll initially be at a limited capacity, getting the fans back will make a massive difference.

That plan, however, came under threat last week when an uptick in coronavirus cases in the UK gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson some pause with the idea. He didn’t completely extinguish the notion of fans returning but said the plans needs revising.

“We must revise plans to pilot larger audiences in stadiums & review our intention to return audiences to stadiums from the 1st October.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to scrap the program entirely. It just means we are going to review and abridge it.

“Organized sport will still be able to proceed.”

On the other hand, the Premier League is fully committed to getting fans to the stands as soon as possible. In response to Johnson’s statement, the league said that for a variety of reasons it was the number one priority to get fans back as quickly as possible.

On Sunday, Newcastle announced that they are setting plans in place for the return of supporters to St James Park. They have met with fan groups to discuss the details.

The Chronicle is reporting that while some pilot cases of supporters attending games have been scrapped, there is still support in the government for their return next month.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has written a letter to another MP, Tracey Couch, after she raised concerns some National League clubs could go under if fans aren’t’ allowed to attend games soon.

Here is what Huddleston wrote:

“The government wants to see spectators back at sports events as soon and as safely as possible.

“We have made important progress in staging a series of pilot and test events across different sports with more to follow.

“The pilot programme will continue throughout September, restricted to a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.

“The success of these events will be reviewed ahead of the current date of October 1 for reopening for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions more widely if public health conditions permit.

“The events have been selected to test a range of different event styles across the country’s major men’s and women’s sports.

“A number of successful pilots have already been completed, including snooker at the Crucible, cricket at Edgbaston and football at Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I know how important this is for sports clubs for whom paying spectators are vital. That is why we amended guidance to provide extra clarification for organisers of non-elite sport events to help them manage and admit spectators safely, adhering to social distancing.

“As stated in my previous response, it is up to the respective governing bodies to determine what constitutes the boundary between elite and non-elite within their sports.

“In football’s case, the FA’s definition means that only leagues below National League north and south can continue with spectators.

“However, subject to the successful staging of the pilot programme and the wider public health conditions, we hope to reopen elite sports fixtures including the National League for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions from October 1.

“We continue to work closely with a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that may allow increased numbers of spectators to return.

“This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.”

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10 comments so far

  • mindshaft

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #1

    There’s actually a game tonight , surely fans should be discussing this rather than bollocks about Bruce etc … FFS , you’re boring the whole blog

  • mindshaft

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #2

    Anyway, should be a banker win tonight depending on if we turn up , think Mowbray will put his strongest squad out given its early in the season , hopefully arma doesn’t come.back to haunt us

  • geordietom

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #3

    with Lejeune gone out on loan and muto away on loan as well that free’s up two places , wonder who’s next thru the door …

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #4


    Must have read it wrong mate never said you never praised Almiron! Just you never came on for anything positive even when we were blasting teams that 2nd half of the season at home but if we got beat you would be on here about it which we rarely did as the team were in top 6 form!

    Bruce has had one or two games were we have been entertaining and I am looking forward to seeing if he can keep it up but at the same time we have been woeful for 90% of his time in charge

    Starting with tonight probably have the strongest squad that Ashley has ever assembled so we really should be beating Blackburn comfortably

  • geordietom

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #5

    and Atsu might be away so thats 3 place’s freed up ?

  • geordie157

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #6

    Armstrong seems to have become one of Blackburn’s best players, along with Dack and Travis. Seen some talk that Mowbray will rest Armstrong

    Can’t decide on a team for the game, so i’ve whirled up two ideas. First one give Murphy and Barlaser a chance to make the squad. Second, stronger line up with Joelinton giving a chance on the left. Pretty sure Ritchie will start.

    Kraft, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis
    Barlaser, Hayden
    Murphy, S.Longstaff, Fraser


    Kraft, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie
    S.Longstaff, Hayden
    Fraser, Almiron, Joelinton

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #7

    Neville was saying last night that Loftus-Cheek needs to leave Chelsea and play every week as he hasn’t grasped his chance at Chelsea

    A loan move to play for us where he would get more game time might work? Chelsea were kind of playing him up front last night but as a box to box for us would do well

  • Mund

    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #8

    Looks like Catchy had some Duracell’s for breakfast

  • Mund

    Sep 15, 2020 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #9

    Imo Loftus-Cheek is one of those hidden talents at a club he rarely features for.

    Brilliant player head always on a swivel and great ability. Would have him in a heart beat

  • Tsunki

    Sep 15, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #10

    Catchy erm dont you think football is about winning and trophies then? No wonder you love Bruce. Dear oh dear.


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