Athletic: Leeds United handed big blow after major news announced
Leeds United have been handed a blow in their bid to get fans back into Elland Road after Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown.
The Premier League can play through the lockdown – that’s the positive news – but The Athletic has reported that lobbying to get fans back into stadiums “has been parked indefinitely.”
It had been hoped that fans could get back into stadiums in November but that has proved impossible after a second wave of Covid-19.
And it looks like there will be no fans allowed back into stadiums now until March at the earliest.
Writing on Monday Laurie Whitwell said, “There have been growing efforts to see supporters allowed into grounds, with Manchester United last week announcing details on how 23,500 could be allowed safely into Old Trafford, yet the prospect of that happening before March is now remote.
“Before Johnson’s statement, the Premier League as a collective had been trying to push for a return of socially-distanced crowds, as has happened in Germany, and United were seen as the best chance of success. The landscape has now changed, however, for the next several months.”
Well, this is miserable news.
Football fans have had a really raw deal so far this season.
And there have been some ridiculous decisions made that have seen fans not able to get into stadiums to watch matches, yet go into a cinema nearby to watch the game on the big screen.
Like a lot of decisions made at the top level recently, that makes no sense, and with a second lockdown coming into force this week, there’s no chance of that being reversed in the near future.
Will fans get back in at all this season? That all depends on how successful this second lockdown is and whether we can break the back of Covid-19 by Spring, which is the hope of a lot of experts.
Meanwhile, Leeds are missing out on vital matchday revenue – and Elland Road would have been a sell-out for every game.
With this news, we hope the Premier League does the right thing and makes all games free to watch again, like last season.
Charging fans, who are themselves likely to be suffering financially, £14.95 to watch a game on TV is a disgrace.
We know some smaller clubs are voting for it as it provides extra money but this shouldn’t be done at the expense of fans.
The Premier League is meeting again ahead of the international break and we hope they do the right thing afterwards.
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