Manchester United’s home game against Tottenham is the pick of the games for the first Premier League weekend when fans are set to return to stadiums in October.
Supporters have been banned from matches since the top flight league’s return in June after a three-month hiatus due to COVID-19. The ban will still be in place when the Premier League season begins on the weekend of Saturday, September 12, with fixtures having been released today (Thursday).
Restrictions are set to be eased from October 1 to allow 30 per cent crowds to return to stadiums following successful pilot events in September.
Under the current 30 per cent capacity rule set by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the first game with fans at the 75,653-capacity Old Trafford could welcome around 20,600 spectators on October 3 for the visit of Spurs.
The same weekend will see games between newly promoted Leeds United host Manchester City, with around 10,740 fans expected at the 39,460-capacity Elland Road, as well as matches between Aston Villa and Liverpool, and Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Fans who decide to attend will need to adhere to certain measures, such as on-way entry and exit, plus staggered arrival times, social distancing and potentially a ban on singing or chanting.
While the Government’s October 1 plans remain in place, Prime Minister Johnson earlier this month cancelled test events at the last minute due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Pilot events that were supposed to host fans included the Glorious Goodwood festival and cricket matches at the Oval and Edgbaston.
Around 1,000 people watched the friendly cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex at the Kia Oval, and fans were in attendance at the start of the World Snooker Championship before spectators were banned. The UK government announced the resumption of pilot events in England on August 15, with the finale two days of the World Snooker Championship welcoming around 300 fans at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.