We can all say how things have never felt the same with social distancing and the lower fan count and spectators within the stadium-it's been ever so dull really. However, it has actually been confirmed by ESPN that the Premier League expects to showcase and host full stadiums by the start of the next season in 2021-22. The chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Masters is expected to push forward for fans to be allowed back with full capacity this coming August.
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While stadiums have been closed as a way of combating the pandemic and transmission of the virus, many believe that due to such a large vaccine roll-out success, fans should be welcomed back at full capacity, and scratch out the previous minimal 2000 spectators, that was imposed by the government mid-way through the last football season. The Premier League’s magic is not just for the sport but for the energy and atmosphere that fans bring to the stadiums during live matches. It has always been that way.
Clubs are now being told that the government is open and willing to open up stadiums at a staggering rate, up until August 14, when the new season will allow all the crowds to return. We did see a 10,000-spectator capacity back during the FA Cup final match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley, and that was announced as a test to evaluate the consequences after. Thankfully all was well, and there were not any noticeable spikes post-match, when using the Track and Trace scheme upon entry.
The fans are ever so grateful for the opening up of stadiums, as things just have not been the same. Especially for season ticket holders that look forward to attending every match for their favourite teams-that is where the money is for clubs too, and that has been a huge hit to all clubs and their money pots of course.
The clubs are willing to do whatever is asked of them, to ensure that a full capacity stadium is welcomed and successful. Not only does the fans bring income into clubs, they bring support and energy to players when they play, and it really does make all the difference to the overall gaming dynamic. It has been the missing ingredient to success, and will most definitely provide clarity to the clubs that have been suffering with financial difficulties from the pandemic.
Just recently, the Premier League has announced an extended three-year deal with all of the UK broadcasting teams, making that a source of sustained income for sure, pair this up with the fans' attendance, and you have yourself a better season than the last difficult pandemic for sure.
In total, the pandemic has cost the Premier League over £2 billion, and thanks to the vaccination programme being introduced, all the economy around the UK, and not just football can feel relaxed knowing things are back in business. There is a glimpse to a brighter future to come, and the government has been very aware of the difficulties that their decisions can bring.
While COVID has affected hospitality and small businesses dramatically, football saw many redundancies introduced to cope with the stress that the pandemic brought. Many of the clubs and their local supporting business were massively affected by the loss in fans, so there is no doubt that the introduction to full capacity stadiums will bring back the life that was lost up until now. It is only right to bring back solidarity and support to those affected by the pandemic and with the slow interventions to bring back the fans, planning for the future is necessary, to prevent such dramatic effects in the near future again. A football pyramid for the next four years to come, has been introduced to introduce business schemes for surrounding businesses and football stadiums itself to build back the bridges that have been lost to the pandemic.