Football: Bring back the fans!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

A Petition to the UK Government to allow fans back to football matches under certain conditions has now been signed, at the time of writing, by more 141,000 people (and counting).

Any Petition with more than 100,000 signatures triggers a debate in Parliament on the subject.

The English Football Association, Premier and English Football Leagues, as well as the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, have pledged to:

consider measures both in the stadium and in the approach that will allay any concerns as to fans’ safety…..[and to work]…..closely with experts and local authorities to model solutions relevant to each stadium to ease pressure on public transport.”

Seven English Football League Clubs successfully piloted small attendances of fans at matches last month.

Also, football governing bodies have pointed out that major arts and music venues are allowed to operate socially distanced events indoors in the UK.

In Germany, limited numbers of fans have been allowed back to matches under certain conditions.

Furthermore, UEFA has announced that, for matches which they oversee, fans up to a maximum of 30% of the stadium’s capacity will be allowed to attend matches, but not away fans.

This follows a pilot at the Super Cup match on 24 September 2020 in Budapest between Bayern Munich and Sevilla which was attended by 15,000 fans.

It will be interesting to see what happens next in the UK!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw121@gmail.com’