Manchester United say Old Trafford ready to safely hold 23,500 fans when stadiums reopen

Man Utd chief operating officer Collette Roche: "We spent around two months working with the government guidelines to develop the right processes and measures to make sure that we can have around 23,500 people in this stadium safely social distancing"

Old Trafford 0:28
Manchester United chief operating officer Collette Roche says Old Trafford is ready to safely hold around 23,500 fans for matches

Manchester United say Old Trafford is ready to safely hold around 23,500 fans for matches in accordance with social distancing guidelines as soon as the UK government gives the green light for stadiums to reopen.

Plans for stadiums to be reopened in October were postponed by the government because of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases - leaving fans of all clubs uncertain when they will next be able to cheer on their team from the stands.

No supporters have been allowed inside Old Trafford since United's 2-0 victory in the Manchester derby in March because of the pandemic.

Collette Roche, the club's chief operating officer, said rigorous plans have been put in place to make Old Trafford as safe as possible for fans when they are allowed back.

"We were really disappointed when the government decided not to allow fans back in the stadium in October because we've got everything in place to make sure we can do so safely," Roche told Sky Sports News.

Man Utd
Image: No supporters have been allowed inside Old Trafford since March

"As you have seen today, we've got all the COVID security measures and other processes ready to go. We spent around two months working with the government guidelines to develop the right processes and measures to make sure that we can have around 23,500 people in this stadium safely social distancing."

While stressing that public health was the number one priority, Roche said it was unfair for football fans to be treated differently from other groups of people.

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"It's quite bemusing to understand why people can gather in other settings such as on an aeroplane or a restaurant, or even in a cinema to watch football, when we know we've got the plans and the process is ready to deliver a match day here safely," she added.

"The government gave us guidelines and it's those guidelines that we have followed."

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