Football Article

Fans Back in English Stadiums

For the first time since March football fans were able to return to English stadiums on Tuesday night.

With the latest national lockdown having ended, those clubs which find themselves in Tier Two in terms of regional segregation were able to allow a limited number of spectators through the turnstiles again.

Everybody had to wear masks, had to observe social distancing ad no food or drink was served, which meant that, in economic terms, clubs actually incurred a loss by having them in the ground again. However, for nearly everybody involved, it was the first baby steps on the road back to normality again.

The new rules mean that those in Tier Two can now have up to 2,000 spectators at a game again, although, on Wednesday evening, those teams that were eligible chose to admit fewer than that as they got used to the new arrangements.

Unfortunately, not all teams are able to welcome fans back just yet. Those that are in Tier Three where the current rate of infections remain high must continue to play their games behind closed doors for the time being.

However, for all the six EFL clubs that were able to let their supporters back again on Wednesday, demand far outstripped supply, with preference given to season-ticket holders of long-standing. And those lucky enough to get in tried to make as much noise as possible first to compensate for all the months they have been locked out, and also to make-up for all their fellow fans that still cannot watch games in person.

On Thursday night Arsenal will become the first Premier League side to have fans in the stands again when 2,000 of them will attend the Europa League game at the Emirates against Rapid Vienna.

And that will be followed at the weekend with Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham and Brighton among the teams that will also have spectators back in the seats again.

Things are by no means back to normal, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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