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The Premier League has called on the Government to stick to their plan of allowing fans to return to matches from 1 October, just two weeks from now.
The date had been suggested by Government as when fans may be able to attend elite sporting events again and the Premier League clubs want a firm commitment that it will be stuck to.
A Premier League statement issued on Thursday read: ‘The Premier League and its clubs met today to discuss the return of supporters to stadiums.
‘Safety remains the No 1 priority and clubs reiterated their commitment to ensuring Premier League stadiums will be among the safest public places, through the effective use of a wide range of mitigation measures.
‘Clubs will adopt a range of common standards, which will help deliver bio-secure, safe environments for fans across the League.
‘Clubs reaffirmed that the continued loss of matchday revenues is having a significant impact across the League as well as on the football pyramid and local and national economies.
‘Taking into account the high safety standards which will be set by the Premier League in conjunction with the relevant public authorities, the League and clubs urge Government to remain committed to the 1 October date for the controlled return of fans to sporting venues.’
A leaked letter, dated 14 September, from Nigel Huddleston of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to fellow Conservative MP and former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, appeared to confirm that the plan remained to stick to 1 October.
‘I know how important this is for sports clubs for whom paying spectators are vital,’ Huddleston wrote to Crouch.
‘Subject to public health conditions, we hope to open elite sport fixtures including the National League for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions from October 1.’
How this will look is unclear, with the Times reporting that it could be somewhere between just 1,000 and 2,500 allowed in Premier League grounds at first