Gallagher Premiership clubs have learned today of their status in the tier system that could see them welcome back crowds. Some will be able to host supporters, whilst others remain crowd-less.
How does the tier system work?
There are three tiers. Tier one will see 4,000 fans attending sporting events, tier two with 2,000 supporters and tier three means you cannot host a crowd.
There are no Gallagher Premiership clubs in a tier one area, therefore no club shall be able to host 4,000 supporters upon lockdown’s end on December 2.
2 players have tested positive out of 983 tests this week in the Gallagher Premiership.
No matches are in jeopardy as a result.
— Robert Rees (@Rreesrugby) November 26, 2020
Tier two clubs
The fortunate clubs who will be able to host 2,000 spectators are Gloucester, Worcester Warriors, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, London Irish, Exeter Chiefs and Bath.
Now, whether these sides choose to open up their stands is another matter. No doubt they’ll want their supporters back, but with social distancing still in place post-lockdown, supporters are likely to be spread across all four sides of the ground. This raises costs dramatically.
You require enough stewards and staff to run four stands, rather than just one of 2,000 capacity, which may not be financially viable. It’s down to clubs to now look at the costs and place them against the income they’d receive.
Bath have already announced supporters will be back for their European clash versus the Scarlets, as have Worcester for their clash against Bath.
Tier three clubs
The unlucky clubs who can’t host a crowd quite yet are Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks, Bristol Bears, Wasps and Leicester Tigers.
If a supporter lives in a tier three zone they are also prohibited to travel, meaning they couldn’t head to an away game at one of the aforementioned clubs.
Twickenham ready for fans
Twickenham will be ready to host 2,000 supporters for the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup final. A further boost to the return of crowds at rugby events.
“Main photo credit”