By David Woods

29th Jul, 2020 | 7:03am

BBC reports bad news for Leeds United fans as Whites set for Premier League return

Leeds United could be forced to play in front of heavily reduced crowds for the whole of their first season back in the Premier League.

What’s more, these numbers could be reduced even further if chanting is proved to accelerate the spread of Coronavirus.

That’s the bad news that was reported by the BBC.

They quote government adviser Professor James Calder as saying, “I would be very surprised if we could get full stadia back this year. Realistically I think it probably will need a vaccine and also a high take-up rate of that vaccine before we can really see full capacity stadia.

“I think realistically we will be under scrutiny for the next year, certainly this side of Christmas and probably for the rest of the season.”

He added that football could pose a bigger problem than other sports: “At a football or a rugby match, the fans are going to be shouting and chanting and singing, I hope, and we need to be sure that the people in front of them are as safe as possible.

“If it is a problem, then we need to rethink the social distancing within the stadia, and that becomes very difficult.”

16 years we’ve waited for Leeds to get back in the Premier League and then this happens.

We had to watch the whole of the Championship run-in on TV and have almost got used to watching Leeds with no fans.

However, watching highlights from games earlier in the season was a shock. The difference is incredible and football is only half the sport without supporters.

Test events with fans are taking place – the snooker world championships and Goodwood are two of the latest.

The Community Shield has been mooted as a test event for football.

However, while it does look like Elland Road will be running far from capacity for the foreseeable future, getting some fans back in is an absolute priority.

That will come with its own issues for clubs like Leeds that could sell out Elland Road several times over in the Premier League.

Leeds will have to work out how to fairly allocate tickets to season ticket holders.

Then it will be over to the fans to prove that even in reduced numbers, the Leeds fans are the loudest in the land.

The possible bad news was compounded by a report in the Telegraph that said televised games would go back to pre-pandemic levels, despite fans not being able to get into grounds.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Next few days’ – Agent of Leeds-linked CB makes transfer claim after Phil Hay details interest