Government call off EFL stadium return

Government call off EFL stadium return

Government call off EFL stadium return

The English Football League had planned to allow supporters to reenter stadiums from October 1 following a number of pilot events.

But, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has announced that these plans will not be going ahead.

Thus far, pilot events have been restricted to 1,000 people.

It had been hoped that this number would be increased in October, but following a review of the rise in coronavirus cases, supporter attendance has been called off altogether.

This has come as a huge blow to clubs such as Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United.

Both clubs were intending on trialing the return of fans in the coming weeks.

Gove continued:

“We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

Football clubs across the country have written to the government expressing the financial need to allow fans back into stadiums in October.

“What we must do is look at sporting events now with caution but we also recognise that sport is a vital part of this nation and we’re looking at everything we can do to support our athletes, our great clubs, through what will be a challenging time,” added Gove.

More than 100 sports bodies have written to the prime minister to ask for emergency funding.

£200m has been allocated for emergency cases, but many in the sector believe more is needed.

English Football League clubs lost £50m in gate receipts last season.

A further loss of £200m is estimated if fans are unable to return this season.

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