Sports leaders hold talks with Government over fans' return
"It is clear that if fans cannot return soon, that there will be very serious economic implications across our sporting sector"
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 16/09/20 6:54pm
Sports leaders are hoping to get an answer next week on whether spectators can attend events from October 1.
Representatives from various sports met with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden on Wednesday, as the cabinet minister gathered feedback from them about the "very serious" financial consequences of any delay to that timetable.
- Nine EFL games to host fans this weekend
- Transfer Centre LIVE! Bale to Spurs latest
- The Super 6 Podcast is here!
The government is reviewing the date due to a spike in coronavirus cases nationwide. A delay until November 1 - when more information will be available about the impact of schools and universities returning on coronavirus case numbers - is understood to be a possibility.
The restrictions on capacity due to come into force from the start of next month will limit sports venues to between 25 and 35 per cent.
A joint statement from the sports bodies in attendance, which included the Football Association, Premier League and EFL, read: "We are grateful to the Secretary of State for taking the time to discuss with us the financial impact that Covid-19 is having on the sports sector and issues around the partial return of fans to sports events which is currently under review by the government. It was a constructive and productive meeting.
"All of our organisations are committed to public safety. Today we were able to explain our extensive arrangements for how we can manage a controlled return of fans following all relevant public health guidelines. It is our firm belief that sports fans will be as safe as in other areas of activity currently permitted.
"We also reiterated a commitment to continue to give full assistance to the government with test and trace requirements and public health messaging.
"We conveyed to the Secretary of State the very serious financial situation now facing our sports, clubs and venues and that we believe we can stage events safely. It is clear that if fans cannot return soon that there will be very serious economic implications across our sporting sector."
The other signatories to the statement were the British Horseracing Authority, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union.