Premier League, EFL and FA issue open letter over getting fans back in stadiums

Football bosses have urged the Government to give the sport a fair crack of the whip and allow a percentage of fans back into games.

Clubs were left devastated last month when it was announced pilot-schemes had been shelved – and that supporters would be banned from returning to matches until March at the earliest due to a spike in Covid-19 infections.

The hammer blow has left some EFL clubs on the brink of going bankrupt.

Rulers from the Premier League, EFL, Football Association and Women's Super League have now written an open letter to fans, making it clear they will leave no stone unturned in the battle to get them back to live games as soon as possible.

The letter said: "The sooner we can return, the sooner we can reunite communities and support local jobs, livelihoods, regional businesses and also the national economy.

"We will continue to urge the Government to allow us to return fans safely to stadiums. It is positive progress that major arts and music venues have been told they can run socially-distanced events indoors – and now football should be allowed to do the same.

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"In light of the postponement of test events we will intensify our efforts to pioneer new approaches. This will make sure stadiums are COVID-safe by considering best practice screening and hygiene methods to ensure that fans and the general public will be safe and drive the Government's sporting plans to move faster.

"Measures could include screening spectators before they enter the ground, installing temperature checks, requiring masks to be worn, one-way systems and providing a code of conduct for all those attending on a matchday.

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"We are determined to identify a path forward with the Government. We need clarity for our clubs and for you as supporters as to what the roadmap for change in this area looks like.

"We all know why caution is needed, and we ask the Government for consistency in their policy, so sport is treated as fairly as other activities currently allowed to welcome spectators."

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