Leeds United fans will get to find out if Elland Road is going to be opened up again when Matt Hancock makes his speech to parliament this morning.
Stadiums in England that sit in Tiers 1 and 2 will be able to open back up to fans – for 4,000 and 2,000 fans for each respective tier.
If Leeds is classified as one of these two then fans would be allowed back into Elland Road for the visit of West Ham on December 12.
However, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be good news.
According to Leeds Live, “Political leaders in Leeds are bracing for the city to be placed into Tier 3 once England comes out of its national lockdown next week.”
Council leader Judith Blake was quoted as saying, “Whilst we don’t know for sure what level Leeds will be in, and don’t anticipate finding out until later in the week… with the figures as they stand we anticipate we will be in the Very High (Tier 3) Alert Level.”
Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield said, “We are going into Tier 3, there is no doubt about that.”
Bad news for Leeds fans
This isn’t definitive but it’s not going to come as much of a surprise to most Leeds fans.
Some fans still have hope that it might get into Tier 2 but infection rates in the area are still high.
Hancock’s speech is expected at 11.30am this morning and if Leeds do end up in Tier 3, along with other areas, it means that some Premier League clubs are going to enjoy an advantage over others.
That brings into question the integrity of the competition. If home wins increase where fans are allowed back in, questions will be asked.
However, we want to see fans back in stadiums. We think that some fans are better than none, although we think a percentage that takes into account the size of a stadium would be a better way to go.
Infrastructure issues could be overcome with tiered entry over a long period of time.
And we think that even in a Tier 3 area, getting 2,000 fans socially distanced into Elland Road should be easily achievable.
Unfortunately, it looks like the wait for Leeds United fans is set to go on past Christmas.
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