Premier League release joint statement regarding return of fans after Government meeting
The Premier League have released a statement early Wednesday evening.
This has followed a meeting with the Government, in the shape of Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The Preier League statement is a joint one, released alongside British Horseracing (BHA), EFL, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Premier League, Rugby Football League (RFL) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
The meeting today was to discuss the return of fans to sporting arenas, which was scheduled to happen as from the start of October, circumstances permitting.
The Premier League and other sporting bodies today stressing the financial importance of fans being allowed back.
The Government recently reined back the trials running in September at sporting arenas, to only allow a maximum of 1,000 at any trial event.
It appears crystal clear that today, the Premier League and others will have been impressing on the Government that if / when the go ahead is given for people to return to football grounds and other arenas, it will have to be at least a decent percentage of capacity allowed for it to make financial sense.
The Bundesliga is set to kick off again this coming weekend and they are allowing up to 20% of capacity to attend matches – but they won’t be allowed in areas of Germany where the number of new virus cases across the latest seven day figures is over a certain number.
Late this afternoon the Chronicle have ran an article claiming that seven local authorities (Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland) in the north east are all going to go into local lockdown as from the end of this week they understand, this would mean they say no socialising with anybody outside your household and includes nobody attending any sporting events. This though is still to be officially confirmed / announced.
Premier League statement – Wednesday 16 September 2020:
‘Premier League makes joint statement with British Horseracing, EFL, ECB, The FA, LTA, RFL and RFU on return of fans to sports events
We are grateful to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, for taking the time to discuss with us the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on the sports sector and issues around the partial return of fans to sports events which is currently under review by the Government. It was a constructive and productive meeting.
All of our organisations are committed to public safety.
Today we were able to explain our extensive arrangements for how we can manage a controlled return of fans following all relevant public health guidelines. It is our firm belief that sports fans will be as safe as in other areas of activity currently permitted.
We also reiterated a commitment to continue to give full assistance to the Government with Test and Trace requirements and public health messaging.
We conveyed to the Secretary of State the very serious financial situation now facing our sports, clubs and venues and that we believe we can stage events safely.
It is clear that if fans cannot return soon that there will be very serious economic implications across our sporting sector.
Our sports have already demonstrated through staging fixtures Behind Closed Doors, in Test events and through the return of recreational sport that we can deliver the very highest standards in safety and best practice.
We will continue to engage with the Government in the days ahead and provide any further evidence required.
Joint statement from: British Horseracing (BHA), EFL, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Premier League, Rugby Football League (RFL) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).’
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