Manchester United’s chief operating officer Collette Roche has revealed that the Red Devils have prepared Old Trafford in order to safely accommodate around 23,500 fans. The Manchester giants, much like most of England, have been playing behind closed doors since football resumed in June.
With most of English football under lockdown and games being played behind closed doors, many within the English football pyramid have been forced to watch as stadiums across Europe opened. It has seen fans welcomed in Germany, France, Hungary, and a few other of Europe’s top leagues although English football did plan an October return. That was quickly postponed by Boris Johnson when he announced that the restrictions were being enforced for another six months.
That decision, however, has come under immense criticism from those within the EFL and the Premier League as they believe if restaurants and indoor theatres can be opened so can stadiums. It has seen Collette Roche admit that it’s “bemusing to understand why” fans aren’t allowed inside stadiums when they’ve been allowed to go everywhere else. The Red Devils COO also added that the club have “spent around two months working” to improve Old Trafford to safely accommodate fans.
“It’s quite bemusing to understand why people can gather in other settings such as on an aeroplane or in a restaurant, or even in a cinema to watch football, when we know we’ve got the plans and the process to deliver a match day safely We spent around two months working with the government guidelines to develop the right processes and measures to make sure that we can have around 23,500 people in this stadium safely social distancing,” Roche told Sky Sports News.
“We were really disappointed when the government decided not to allow fans back in the stadium in October because we’ve got everything in place to make sure we can [get them back] safely. The government gave us guidelines and it’s those guidelines that we have followed.”