For the first time since March, fans will be back in Premier League stadia from next week.
The UK government has confirmed the national lockdown will be ending on December 2.
After that, cities will be moved into various ‘tiers’ – 1, 2, or 3 – with tier 3 being the highest and thus being placed under the most severe restrictions.
That means clubs won’t have an equal number of fans. Many Premier League clubs will still be playing behind closed doors due to local restrictions, whereas other sides will be able to welcome 2,000 supporters.
It’s a blessing for the gate receipts of those clubs, but it also raises questions of fairness. Gary Neville tweeted last week upon hearing speculation about the news:
“So some clubs will have fans backing them in home fixtures and others will have empty stadiums with no fans! Unfair competition or not??”
Here is the breakdown in full of how many fans will be allowed at each club’s stadium:
Tottenham – 2,000 fans
Liverpool – 2,000 fans
Chelsea – 2,000 fans
Leicester – NO fans
Southampton – 2,000 fans
Everton – 2,000 fans
Aston Villa – NO fans
West Ham – 2,000 fans
Wolves – NO fans
Manchester United – NO fans
Crystal Palace – 2,000 fans
Arsenal – 2,000 fans
Manchester City – NO fans
Leeds – NO fans
Newcastle – NO fans
Brighton – 2,000 fans
Burnley – NO fans
Fulham – 2,000 fans
West Brom – NO fans
Sheffield United – NO fans
It was initially hoped some teams would be allowed to have as many as 4,000 fans, but that hasn’t applied to any Premier League clubs.
They will now have to decide how tickets are allocated, with some sides opting for a ballot of season-ticket holders or giving preferential treatment to executive members.
The most important thing is that fans are gradually returning.