Fears the possibility that the planned fan return will turn into a wet detonator and some clubs are struggling to hit the government limit
- There are fears that the return of football fans could be a wet detonator
- Clubs can allow 10,000 or 25 percent of their capacity, whichever is less
- But sites like Fulham, Crystal Palace, and Burnley will struggle to match that number
Concerns have been raised that fans’ planned return could become a wet detonator as some clubs struggle to hit the government-set cap.
Subject to the restrictions being relaxed further on May 17th, each Premier League team will host a game in front of their own fans before the end of the season. They were told they could allow 10,000 or 25 percent of the capacity, whichever is less.
However, people with older, smaller lots have significant headaches to make sure they can get close to these numbers.
There are concerns that some clubs will struggle to fit in with the number of fans allowed to return
For example, Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium is working to have 2,000 fans in attendance
Fulham, for example, is currently operating under 20,000 capacity thanks to the redevelopment of Craven Cottage.
They could take in around 5,000 supporters, but would have to show security groups that they can provide ample space for social distancing.
With this in mind, the association is working towards a figure of 2,000. Currently, access to the stadium is only possible through the Johnny Haynes booth, which further complicates matters.
Similar challenges are met at the Crystal Palace, which houses 25,486 people in Selhurst Park, and Burnley, which has 22,546 capacity on Turf Moor.
Reasons like Selhurst Park would struggle to hit the government number of 10,000
Both grounds are a million miles from the modern purpose-built arenas used by Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City, and officials have a headache getting close to the cap.
Clubs have also been told that restricted areas for the red zone must be removed, which is a challenge. Creative solutions are sought. Leeds, for example, is hoping to find a way to ensure that there can be 8,500 on Elland Road with a capacity of 37,792.
All of this adds to the feeling that away fans shouldn’t be allowed in. The Premier League has asked for feedback on the matter and is hoping 500 visiting fans can participate.
However, the clubs have raised concerns about the view that many believe is pointless and will create unnecessary problems.