PREMIER LEAGUE clubs will be playing in front of fans as soon as NEXT WEEK under proposals unveiled by Boris Johnson.
The government has announced that once lockdown comes to an end on December 2, supporters will be allowed to return to stadiums at capacities of up to 4000.
However, this will depend on which tier of Covid restrictions their local area is allocated.
How will the new system work?
- Tier 1 areas will be allowed 4000 fans.
- Tier 2 areas will be allowed 2000 fans.
- Tier 3 will continue behind closed doors.
Which clubs will be in Tier 1?
Based on the pre-lockdown Tier system, only two clubs would be allowed to play in front of four thousand fans.
They are Brighton and Southampton.
However, the new tiers will be announced on Thursday.
With Brighton’s infection rate over the past week at 102 per 100,000, the city is likely to remain in Tier 1.
However this may not be the case for Southampton, which now has a rate of 168 per 100,000.
Which clubs will be in Tier 2?
London is expected to remain in Tier 2 when lockdown ends.
That would mean Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Fulham, Crystal Palace and West Ham all being allowed to host supporters but at a capacity of just two thousand.
Leicester, which lived under the most severe restrictions in the country in summer, was also designated Tier 2 before lockdown meaning it should be able to host two thousand fans.
Newcastle was seen as being at risk of moving to Tier 3 before lockdown but strong resistance from local leaders meant no decision had been made at the time.
Which clubs will be in Tier 3?
Liverpool, Everton, Man City, Man Utd, Burnley, Leeds and Sheffield United were all in Tier 3 areas before lockdown and will be banned from hosting fans if their tier remains unchanged.
However, Liverpool’s infection rate in the past week has dropped to just 187 per 100,000, giving hope that the city could be placed in Tier 2, allowing Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti’s teams to play in front of two thousand supporters.
Birmingham and the West Midlands were in Tier 2 before lockdown however the council was in discussions about a move to Tier 3, which had been described as “inevitable”.
Should these areas be placed in Tier 3, Aston Villa, Wolves and West Brom will all have to continue playing behind closed doors.
Can I attend if I live in a higher tier than my team?
Under previous rules, people in Tier 1 and Tier 2 were allowed to move freely between their respective areas.
However, people in Tier 3 were banned from leaving their areas – though the ban was not legally enforceable.
Should these rules remain unchanged, those in Tier 3 will be banned from watching any elite sport.
However fans in Tier 2 would be allowed to watch teams in Tier 1.
Will I have to wear a mask to attend?
Rules on masks in stadiums and entry times have yet to be announced.
However masks have been made obligatory at all times in other stadiums in Europe where football has restarted with fans.