Premier League

Fans could return to football stadiums in September

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has backed plans to see supporters return in three months

10:48am on Thursday 18th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

Football fans could return to stadiums if it is safe to do so by September, according to FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.

The ongoing pandemic has seen the Premier League and every other elite league in Europe return to playing action behind closed doors with no supporters in attendance due to social distancing regulations.

As the threat of infection has risen and fallen, so has the prospect of fans being allowed back in, with some indications even suggesting it might not happen until 2021.

However this week culture secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“I would really hope that by the return of the new season we might be in a position whereby some fans could start to return to stadiums.

“I know that would be another important part of restoring the financial position of clubs.”

Even though it would naturally be a large gathering of people, which is currently not allowed, health experts have said that because it is outside the risk of infection is reduced compared to people being in close proximity indoors.

The issue remains, however, about travelling and getting in and out of the stadium in large numbers.

After hearing the words from Dowden, Bullingham retains hope that the Premier League can start packing stadiums again for around the start of the new campaign.

“When we look ahead to September, we are hoping we are in a very different situation than we are now as a country, and we hope at some point we can start having crowds back,” the FA chief said.

“We’re looking at loads of options; we’re even getting people to map out what traffic flows [of spectators] look like in stadia, explore what it could look like with one-metre, two-metre social distancing and so on.”

The Premier League had its first two matches since the return of play on Wednesday, with Man City defeating Arsenal and Aston Villa and Sheffield Utd playing out a 0-0 draw.

Latest news

Primera Division

Bartomeu hailed as one of Barcelona's greatest-ever presidents

The man at the helm in Catalunya is derided by Barca supporters, but not by his fellow president over at Atletico Madrid

  • 1 hour

Koeman on Barcelona transfers: Financially, it's very difficult

The Dutchman was asked about potential additions to the squad but admitted it may not be possible

  • 2 hours
Serie A

Dybala back, but on the bench - How Juventus could line-up versus Roma

The Argentine has been working to recover from a thigh injury, and could make his return as a substitute

  • 2 hours
Premier League

Kepa to start? - How Chelsea could line-up against West Brom

The arrival of the new goalkeeper could spell the end for the Spaniard, whose poor form has continued into this season

  • 2 hours

How Bayern could line-up versus Hoffenheim

Hansi Flick's side become European Super Cup champions during the week and the head coach will name a similar XI this weekend

  • 3 hours
Premier League

No Bale yet - How Tottenham could line-up against Newcastle

The Welshman returned to his former club in a sensational loan deal from Real Madrid last week

  • 4 hours

Most read

Other interesting players

  1. Liverpool 94
  2. image description Kevin De Bruyne M, AM (C)
    Man City 92
  3. image description Kai Havertz AM (CR)
    Chelsea 92
  4. image description Bruno Fernandes AM, M (C)
    Man Utd 92
  5. Liverpool 92
  6. Man City 92
  7. image description PE Aubameyang F (C), AM (L)
    Arsenal 91
  8. image description Raheem Sterling W, AM (L)
    Man City 91
  9. image description Sadio Mané W, AM (L)
    Liverpool 89
  10. Leicester City 89