Premier League statement – Have written to Government pleading case for fans to still return
The Government has restricted trials to a maximum of 1,000 fans in a stadium, the Premier League declaring this is a waste of time.
Believing it to be such a pointless exercise as it wouldn’t properly ‘test and evaluate measures’, the Premier League says none of their clubs will be willing to take part with such low numbers.
As well as a pointless exercise they say that it would also cause considerable expense, on top of being a waste of time.
Going public with what they have done, the Premier League say (see below) they have written to the Government ‘to express its concern at the decisions taken to restrict, and potentially delay, the planned programme for the return of fans to football stadiums.’
It had been hoped that a significant percentage (rumoured to be around 25% / 30%) of the capacity of each Premier League stadium could be filled as from the start of October.
However, unless the Government take heed of the pleas of the Premier League, that is now looking a forlorn hope.
Premier League official statement:
‘League has written to Government to express concern at decisions to restrict, and potentially delay, programme for return of fans to stadiums
The Premier League has written to the Government today to express its concern at the decisions taken to restrict, and potentially delay, the planned programme for the return of fans to football stadiums.
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.
Therefore, Premier League clubs will defer holding test events until a sufficient number of fans are allowed back to enable thorough trials to take place. 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 matchday activities.
Our clubs have already prepared test events and can offer larger scale trials to prove it is possible to produce bio-secure, safe environments, as was proved through the successful delivery of Project Restart.
The Premier League recognises the ambition of the Government’s Operation Moonshot and will support the project’s objectives to get fans back into stadiums. However, we believe measures are already available which would allow the safe return of fans and should also be activated now.
As the Government begins its review of the 1 October date for the return of spectators to sport, the Premier League asks that the high safety standards which can be achieved by our clubs are fully taken into account before any decision is taken and that sport is not left behind other industries.’
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