Plans for fans returning to stadiums put on hold

Plans for fans to return to stadiums in a limited capacity from October 1 have been put on hold.

It had been hoped that clubs would be allowed to fill their stadium up to 25%-33% of capacity, however as the country faces the prospect of a second coronavirus spike, the idea has been scrapped.

Michael Gove confirmed the news in an interview with the BBC.

“It was the case that we were looking at a staged programme of more people returning,” Gove told BBC Breakfast.

“It wasn’t the case that we’d have stadiums thronged with fans. We’re looking for the moment at how we can pause that programme.

“What we do want to do is ensure that, as and when circumstances allow, we get more people back because 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. People look back at the beginning of the pandemic and look at some of the major sporting events asking the question of why they were allowed to go ahead.

“One of the things we must do now, whatever the wisdom of the decisions made then, is to look at sporting events now with caution.

“We also recognise sport is a vital part of this nation and we’re looking at everything we can do to support our athletes and clubs through what will be a challenging time.”

The news spells danger for many clubs who now face another huge financial setback. The leaders of more than 100 sports bodies have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson requesting emergency funds to stave off a “lost generation of activity”.

The letter, written by organisations including the Football Association, Premier League, Rugby Football Union and England and Wales Cricket Board, reportedly states: “We require a comprehensive support package for the sport and physical sector to aid its recovery.

“This package must combine investment, tax incentives, and regulatory reform.

“Covid-19 has undermined our commercial revenue streams with both stadiums and leisure facilities closed or greatly reduced in capacity. The impact of this will potentially lead to a lost generation of sport and activity.”

Featured image credit: Getty