Soccer

English football intends to have "full crowds back" by start of 2021/22 season

The Football League are planning for full crowds to be back in attendance for the start of next season.

Stadiums have not been at full capacity for over a year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with matches being played behind closed doors for the majority of time.

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with Covid cases and deaths falling and the vaccine rollout seeming to be a success.

The next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown comes into force on Monday, with test events with spectators set to be held over the next few weeks.

And the EFL are planning for the best outcome, though acknowledge that there may have to be some certification.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: Our aspiration and goal is that, from August 6, we will be back in full stadia in line with the Government roadmap for unlocking the economy from June 21.

"Hopefully as a result of all these test events that will assist and hopefully lead the Government to allow us to do so.

"The key will obviously be to try to mitigate the spread by removing the need for social distancing which leads you to the Covid certification, which will undoubtedly have a role to play moving forwards.

“That is what clubs need in terms of their finances, they struggled through valiantly for the last season, aided and abetted by the fact that season ticket holders have been so supportive to the clubs.

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  • "I am positive, our aspiration has to be that [full grounds]. We are not blind to the issues surrounding the difficulties in achieving that, but hopefully with the introduction of Covid certification, which seems to be the direction of travel, that may well assist us in getting to that level."

    This month's Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Tottenham will see 8,000 spectators in attendance as part of the test events.

    The FA Cup semi-final between Leicester and Southampton on April 18 will also see 4,000 supporters return.

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