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Liverpool and Man United to remain behind closed doors? Fans allowed back but return to tier system means many Premier League clubs may have to keep ......


Nov. 25, 2020

Fans could return to Premier League stadiums from next week following the new government proposals for post-lockdown.
Westminster have announced that once restrictions are lifted on December 2, top-flight grounds can bring back up to 4,000 supporters, giving clubs a much-needed boost and offering a light at the end of the tunnel after a tough year.
While it’s good news for fans, there will still be plenty of Covid restrictions put in place and how many each stadium can have will depend on which tier the local area is in.
Here’s how each Premier League club will be affected…
How will the new system work?
Tier 1 areas will be allowed 4000 fans. Tier 2 areas will be allowed 2000 fans. Tier 3 will continue behind closed doors.
Which clubs will be in Tier 1?
Based on how the pre-lockdown tier system worked, only two clubs would be allowed to play in front of 4,000 fans – they are Brighton and Southampton.
This could change as the new tiers will be announced on Thursday and the government have said the updated system will be stricter than before.
Brighton’s current infection rate is just over 100 per 100,000 so the city is likely to remain in Tier 1.
However this may not be the case for Southampton, which now has a rate of 168 per 100,000.
Which clubs will be in Tier 2?
London is expected to remain in Tier 2 when lockdown ends.
That would mean Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Fulham will all be allowed to host supporters at a capacity of 2,000.
Leicester, which lived under the most severe restrictions in the country in summer, was also designated Tier 2 before lockdown meaning it should be able to host the same amount.
Newcastle was seen as being at risk of moving to Tier 3 before lockdown but strong resistance from local leaders meant no decision had been made at the time.
Which clubs will be in Tier 3?
Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Burnley, Leeds and Sheffield United were all in Tier 3 areas before lockdown.
That would mean they would be banned from hosting fans if their tier remains unchanged.
Liverpool’s infection rate in the past week has dropped, giving hope that the city could be placed in Tier 2, allowing Liverpool and Everton to play in front of two thousand supporters.
Meanwhile, Birmingham and the West Midlands were in Tier 2 before lockdown however the council was in discussions about a move to Tier 3, which had been described as ‘inevitable’.
That would mean Aston Villa, Wolves and West Brom will all have to continue playing behind closed doors.
Again this will be fully confirmed on Thursday.
Can I attend if I live in a higher tier than my team?
Under previous rules, people in Tier 1 and Tier 2 were allowed to move freely between their respective areas.
However, people in Tier 3 were told not to leave their areas – though a ban was not legally enforceable.
Should these rules remain unchanged, those in Tier 3 will be banned from attending grounds but fans in Tier 2 would be allowed to watch teams in Tier 1.
Will I have to wear a mask to attend?
Rules on masks in stadiums and entry times have not been confirmed as of yet.
However, masks have been made obligatory at all times in other stadiums in Europe where football has restarted with fans.
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