Premier League release official statement responding to Government return of fans announcement
On Monday (5 July 2021), as expected, the Prime Minister opened up the possibility of Premier League clubs being able to use their full capacities as from the start of 2021/22 season.
Boris Johnson stating ‘We’ll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus. From step four we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors. We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs, we will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes and the numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events.’
This wholesale lifting of restrictions will be as from Monday 19 July and the final confirmation that this will all happen will come next Monday (12 July), Johnson making clear that it would take something very dramatic and unexpected to intervene and stop it happening.
The Premier League have made a brief statement responding to Monday’s Government briefing.
Official Premier League statement on return of fans – 5 July 2021:
After the announcement today by the Prime Minister on the return of fans to sporting events, the Premier League has made the following statement:
“Fans have been hugely missed so we welcome today’s announcement by the Government and are looking forward to full stadiums in the 2021/22 season.
“As we move towards a Government decision on Step 4 of the roadmap and beyond, we will continue to work with football stakeholders and relevant public authorities to ensure that the return to full capacity is done in a way that keeps everyone safe.”
As it happens, the Premier League made their position very clear three weeks ago, when the 2021/22 fixtures were released.
Premier League announcement – 16 June 2021:
“The Premier League and its clubs are committed to the ambition of having full stadiums, including away supporters, from the start of the season, and will continue to work closely with Government and all relevant authorities, ensuring operational plans are in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to stadiums in August.”
On 19 May 2021, around 10,000 Newcastle United fans were inside St James Park to watch the 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
That was almost 15 months after the last time any NUFC supporters had been allowed into a home match, which was a 52,219 ‘sell-out’ that included 10,000 who had been handed free season tickets, that game on 29 February 2020 seeing a 0-0 draw with Burnley.
Ahead of the Premier League season kicking off, we have already seen Doncaster announce that Newcastle fans are set to get an allocation for the friendly in 17 days time (23 July). However, it remains to be seen if any NUFC supporters will be allowed at Harrogate, with York already stating that their friendly will be home fans only – both those NUFC friendlies taking place on Sunday 18 July (Newcastle splitting their squad in two), the day before the announced lifting of restrictions.
This below is how the July, August and September 2021 schedule currently looks, which includes the announcement on Premier League live TV selections in September which was also made on Monday.
The Norwich friendly on Saturday 7 August set to be the first time fans will next be inside St James Park.
Newcastle United fixtures – Friendlies and then kicking off in Premier League on Sunday 15 August:
Sunday 18 July – York City away (2pm)
Sunday 18 July – Harrogate Town away(2pm)
Friday 23 July – Doncaster Rovers away (7pm)
Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham United away (7pm)
Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)
Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)
Sunday 15 August 2pm – West Ham home (Sky Sports)
Saturday 21 August 3pm – Aston Villa home
Saturday 28 August 3pm – Southampton home
Saturday 11 September 3pm – Man Utd away
Friday 17 September 8pm – Leeds home (Sky Sports)
Saturday 25 September 3pm – Watford away
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