EFL: Plans for fans to watch live sport events postponed

Plans for fans to return to watch live sport events in England from 1 October will be paused due to UK’s Covid-19 alert level 4 posing high-risk in transmission.

This comes after cabinet office minister, Michael Gove, made the announcement on Tuesday morning.

The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people.

New measures will be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

“We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” he said.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

The majority of sports in England have been played behind closed doors since the coronavirus lockdown in March, including Premier League football, the FA Cup final, England’s Test cricket matches and two Formula 1 races at Silverstone.

However, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told BBC Sport it was “absolutely critical” fans were allowed back inside stadiums as soon as possible and failure to do so would cost clubs £700m during the 2020-21 season.

English Football League clubs lost £50m in gate receipts last season and estimate a £200m loss if there are no fans this season.

BBC SPORT