Premier League hopes of fan returns reduce as Prime Minister calls off test events

Trial events to bring fans back into football stadiums will no longer take place in the first two weeks of August.

With all Premier League and Championship action having taken place behind closed doors since sporting activity resumed in the UK, discussions have been ongoing about how they will be able to safely return to attendance.

There had been plans for pilot events in the first two weeks of August to see how sporting events may be able to take place with limited capacities.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now announced that the plans to do so have been reversed for the time being.

“Pilots of crowds at sports events will now not take place,” the Prime Minister said. “I said from May we would not hesitate to put on the brakes at the slightest sign that the numbers were going in the wrong direction.”

There was talk of Premier League clubs admitting limited numbers of fans to pre-season friendlies next month. However, that will no longer be possible, as the government steps up restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus amid fears of a second wave.

Parts of the UK where there have been spikes in the number of cases have been placed back in lockdown.

According to the BBC, the renewed aim for the government to allow fans to return in some capacity will be October 1st. The Premier League want that to be brought forward, but are unlikely to be successful with that request.

When fans are permitted back in stadiums, they will only be 20-40 per cent full.

The Premier League is due to return next season on 12th September. The newly imposed restrictions on test events will be in force until 15th August at the earliest.