As we all wait with baited breath to see the (hopefully) positive results of the government’s tentative pilot schemes (which, you’ll remember, involved carefully opening a small handful of large public events under strict medical supervision), the Premier League has officially confirmed that home fans will be allowed to attend matches in the final two rounds of this season.
What this means is that every top-flight team will be able to host one match with a maximum of 10,000 supporters in attendance. The 37th round of matches will now be played on Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19, ahead of the final 10 matches all beginning at 4pm on Sunday, May 23 as planned.
The Premier League issued the following statement:
“Supporters are expected to be able to return to stadiums from 17 May in a reduced capacity, pending the final government decision on planned Step 3 conditions, which will be announced no later than 10 May. Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the League and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance.
“The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance. Clubs have a proven track record of providing Covid-safe environments and have operational plans in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to their stadiums. Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021/22 season.”
This season has been remarkable and surreal for a number of reasons—and not just because of the (thankfully) short-lived European Super League drama.
Matches have been held under strict medical supervision and with no home crowds, creating an eerie atmosphere of silence instead of the rumbles and roars of thousands of passionate fans.
Here’s hoping this season can end on a triumphant high.