By David Woods

15th Apr, 2020 | 9:18am

Times report highlights potentially devastating blow to Leeds fans

According to a report in the Times today, the return of fans into football stadiums could be as long as 18 months away.

That’s the view of Dr Zach Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has said it wouldn’t be safe for fans to gather in stadiums until a vaccine for Coronavirus has been found.

“The thing that people need to understand, epidemiologically speaking, is that every person you add to a gathering adds risk,” Binney said.

“Five people is more dangerous than two, ten is more dangerous than five, 500 is more dangerous than ten, 60,000 is very, very dangerous.

“Even if you have really low community-based transmission, it only takes a few people in that crowd of 60,000 for there to be a risk of something very significant happening.”

He went on to say he was as close to 100% sure as he could be that “we cannot return to filled-to-capacity stadia until we have a vaccine. Period. The best guess is about 18 months, could be a little more, could be a little less.”

This isn’t good news for any football fans but for Leeds supporters, it’s going to be devastating.

We’ve been calling for the 19/20 season to finish behind closed doors – we think it’s the only way this season finishes and it’s paramount that Leeds get promoted this season.

Some fans are already distraught at the prospect of missing out on seeing their side win promotion back to the top flight for the first time since 2004.

That this might go on for the whole of the 20/21 season too, hopefully Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League, will likely be too much to bear.

In reality, though, there are only two scenarios that would lead to fans safely going back into stadiums – a vaccine, or immunity through infection reaching 60%.

In the same Times report, Professor Karol Sikora has said this is also a way off, with current figures said to be around 10 or 15%.

This will have much wider implications, too. If this scenario does come to pass then it could be absolutely devastating to football, not just the fans.

Andrea Radrizzani has said Leeds will lose out on £2.5m in revenue from ticket sales for the last five games of the season.

Another season without fans would likely lead to many clubs going to the wall.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Wow’, ‘The one we’ve all been waiting for’ – Some Whites fans react to official Leeds post