Clubs draw­ing up plans for Oc­to­ber re­turn of crowds

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Ja­son Burt

Clubs are in­ten­si­fy­ing plans for fans to re­turn to sta­di­ums at the start of Oc­to­ber. Prepa­ra­tions are tak­ing place with lo­cal safety ad­vi­sory groups and tick­et­ing com­pa­nies.

It is un­der­stood Richard Masters, the Pre­mier League chief ex­ec­u­tive, told clubs at the fi­nal share­hold­ers meet­ing of the season that he re­mained con­fi­dent that a re­turn on Oct 1 – as in­di­cated by the Gov­ern­ment – was still pos­si­ble.

De­tailed map­ping ex­er­cises are be­ing drawn up for ev­ery sta­dium in the coun­try to cal­cu­late how many sup­port­ers may be per­mit­ted back and when. One of the big­gest con­cerns is how fans will en­ter and leave. Af­ter un­der­go­ing tem­per­a­ture checks, they will be asked to wear masks – though not in their seats – and to ad­here to a one-way sys­tem.

Most clubs want at least to ac­com­mo­date season-ticket hold­ers, but this de­pends on how many “fam­ily bub­bles” can be es­tab­lished. A work­able oc­cu­pancy of sta­di­ums is still be­lieved to be 30 per cent. If clubs have to go be­low that it will make it hard fi­nan­cially for many, es­pe­cially out­side the Pre­mier League, to al­low fans back in.

Snooker will al­low a lim­ited num­ber of fans back from Sun­day at the World Cham­pi­onship in Sh­effield.

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