REPORT: Premier League Clubs Attendance Limit to Be Lowered to 1,000

Premier League attendance

Not as many fans will return to the Premier League as first thought, with Sports Ground Safety Authority reportedy saying that test events with around 1000 fans must pass muster first (The Telegraph).

REPORT: Premier League Clubs Instructed to Lower Attendance Limit to 1,000

Safety First

Fans from grassroots to elite club level will be able to attend matches from the 2nd of December. But despite the government’s latest announcements, club may not be allowed to return to the highest figures provided.

According to the Telegraph, this is due to safety chiefs within the Sports Ground Safety Authority wanting to test the return of fans to stadia at smaller more controlled numbers.

In August, SGSA had already stressed the importance of such test events:

“Thus it may be seen that the capacity of any sports ground under social distancing cannot be calculated with the same level of certainty as is possible under standard operational conditions, and might instead require a series of assessments to be carried out, from event-to-event, ideally starting with a test event” (pg 12, Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds: Supplementary Guidance 02:Planning for social distancing at sports grounds).

The Current Situation

Clubs in Tier 1 could have up to 4,000 fans, or 50% of capacity- whichever is lower- at outdoor stadiums. This falls to 2,000 in Tier 2 areas.

But, in Tier 3, no fans are allowed to attend matches. This has had detrimental effect to lower level non-league clubs. The EBAC Northern League have suspended their matches for another two weeks.

With the latest from the SGSA, this would mean that in Tier 1, Premier League crowds could be reduced to at least 2000, and in Tier 2 only 1000 fans may be allowed to return during test events.

No final decisions have been made yet. Local safety advisory groups will not meet until next week.

The attendance limits would be different for clubs in different areas; it is the local safety advisory groups that will decide whether to give clubs the go ahead for larger attendances.

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