In a landmark decision, Arsenal are planning to allow fans back into the Emirates stadium at reduced capacity against Sheffield United in October. This could potentially be the first Premier League game to not be held behind closed doors since March 9th, with other leagues also following suit.
While the English Football Association (FA) have held a few pilot games, there has been no announcement as to when fans can be allowed back into stadiums. It has, however, seen Brighton and Chelsea face each other in a friendly game last week with 2,524 supporters inside the Amex Stadium with everyone following safety protocols. There will be a few more pilot games but reports indicate that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Premier League are confident that they can gradually get supporters back.
It has seen Arsenal reveal that they are planning to allow fans back into the Emirates Stadium for their game against Sheffield United on October 3rd. However, it will be at reduced capacity and subject to change based on government guidelines and instructions. A statement from the club confirmed the same and revealed that they will start their season behind closed doors. It also added that the Premier League, with help from the government, are trying to create a plan that maximises the number of supporters inside stadiums.
"Although our home fixture against West Ham United on Sunday 20 September will be played behind closed doors, based on the current UK Government guidelines, we hope to be able to welcome supporters back to Emirates Stadium on a reduced capacity basis from the Sheffield United game scheduled for Saturday 3 October. While we finalise the details surrounding our reduced capacity matches, we want to update you on our plans to welcome you back to Emirates Stadium safely,” reads the statement on Arsenal’s website.
"In devising an agile plan for the season ahead, we are focused on maximising the number of supporters able to safely attend matches at Emirates Stadium and providing fair and equitable access to the limited tickets available for all season ticket holders. The capacity at Emirates Stadium will initially be much reduced due to UK Government guidelines, Premier League directives and our responsibility to apply appropriate social distancing measures to ensure our fans can return as safely as possible."
An update on our plans to welcome you back to Emirates Stadium safely.— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 2, 2020