England FA, Premier League, EFL, Women Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship have released a joint statement expressing their commitment to getting fans back into stadiums as soon as possible.
All five parties are united in their view that ‘the health of the nation remains our overriding priority’ and have been working alongside experts to make their grounds safer than any other public activity which is currently permitted by UK Government.
The open letter also acknowledged the importance of attending ‘matches can play a positive role in people’s lives during these challenging times’.
Several clubs however have taken various actions including pop-up cardboard cut-outs to ensure that they ‘can still feel the support of their fans.’
Other clubs have gone the extra mile from food parcels to phone and online conversation between players and ticket holders to moving services and matchday programmes online in attempts ‘to make a difference in unprecedented and challenging circumstances’.
Recent test events across Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, WSL and Women’s Championship have been confirmed as ‘successful’, with a belief that ‘we have demonstrated that we can deliver matches safely.’
All six leagues have also stated their view that by resuming matches in front of fans, they ‘can reunite communities and support local jobs, livelihoods, regional businesses and also the national economy’.
Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship alongside the FA therefore ‘urge Government to allow us to return fans safely to stadiums’ given that major arts plus music venues have been greenlit to run indoor events with social-distancing.
All five parties have also pledged to ‘intensify our efforts to pioneer new approaches’ in partnership with epidemiologists, scientists and medical experts across public health, clinical processes and occupational hygiene to ensure that stadiums are safe by considering screening and hygiene methods to ensure safety of fans.
Such measures include screening spectators on entry to ground, temperature checks, compulsory mask wearing and one-way systems on top of a code of conduct for those inside the stadiums, which would be bolstered by deep cleans to help reduce transmission risks.
All clubs across all six leagues plus the FA have stated in the open letter their willingness to be ‘pro-active on measures in stadiums as well as travel to grounds, with joint partnerships alongside local authorities on solutions suitable for individual stadiums in order to avoid pressurizing public transport.
English Football consequently concluded that they’re ‘determined to identify a path forward’ with Government and relevant authorities to use innovative methods to provide clarity for clubs and fans in terms of a plan to get spectators back into stadiums.
UK Government meanwhile is urged to apply ‘consistency in their policy so sport is treated as fairly as other activities currently allowed to welcome spectators’.
All six parties concluded their open letter by stating that ‘the benefits will be felt not just by fans but throughout society and the economy’.
If want to read the full open letter, click HERE.