Fans may be told not to sing or shout and alcohol could be BANNED when stadiums reopen next week
FOOTBALL fans might be ordered not to drink alcohol or sing songs when they return to stadiums from next week.
Clubs were given the green light to reopen turnstiles on December 2 by the Government yesterday.
Up to 4,000 fans can return in low-risk areas from next week with 2,000 in tier two areas.
Clubs in tier three regions – including Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – won't be allowed to open their turnstiles just yet.
And the Daily Mail report that the Premier League outlined their Covid Code of Conduct in a letter to clubs on Saturday.
They claim the document said: "This may include singing, shouting and alcohol consumption."
Fans will be asked to sign up to the Code of Conduct when they buy a ticket, the report adds.
Other measures expected include filling in a health questionnaire, wearing a mask and following signs about social distancing within the stadium.
Premier League matches have been played behind closed doors since the pandemic started in March.
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Tiers are set to be announced on Thursday but, based on those before this latest lockdown, the only Prem clubs to be allowed the full 4,000 fans will be Brighton and Southampton.
The South coast rivals are due to play each other on the weekend of December 5, the first round of action after the rules relax.
And 22 of the EFL’s 69 English clubs would also make the grade.
It leaves clubs having to ballot season-ticket holders to decide who gets in — with giant Tier 2 stadiums at Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle restricted to one fan for every 30 seats.
Clubs know they will face criticism if they put corporate fans ahead of normal match-goers while some may question whether it is cost-efficient — it is understood Wembley needs crowds of 10,000 at events to break even.
Many sides in the North will have to continue to play in empty stadiums, with strict Tier 3 restrictions expected to remain in place.
Based on those previous tiers a whopping SEVEN Prem clubs, and 20 in the EFL — including top-flight giants Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City — will still NOT be allowed any fans.
Burnley’s Turf Moor is another that will remain shut and boss Sean Dyche said: “It is a start point.
“Even if it is limited numbers it brings that feel and that connection back. Hopefully it will build quickly after that. We have missed our fans.”
But Salford owner Gary Neville said: “So some clubs will have fans backing them in home fixtures and others will have empty stadiums with no fans. Unfair competition or not?”
A Premier League statement added: “Fans have been greatly missed and we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the return of supporters for the first time since March, albeit at small numbers.
“Our ambition remains to work with Government to increase attendance to more substantial levels.
“Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss.”
Only home fans will be allowed in, with clubs under orders to impose strict social distancing.
It is possible clubs may require fans to have a “Covid passport” and proof they are free of infection, although that is not confirmed.
Dowden, who also announced grassroots and kids’ sport can return, said: “I’m delighted we are able to get the turnstiles turning sooner than expected, taking a cautious approach.
“I’m confident sports will take every step to ensure fans are safe, and fans will play their part and look out for each other until we can safely get everyone back in.”
EFL bosses are ready to switch next week’s midweek fixture list wholesale to Wednesday to get some fans through the door.
An EFL spokesman said: “We look forward to the reopening of some stadiums as we finally welcome back fans after eight long months away.
“It is an important step in achieving a return to normal, alongside it being crucial to addressing the significant revenue gap left by a lack of spectators and other revenue streams as a result of the pandemic.”
Despite the sense of frustration at the limited numbers, the Football Supporters Association said: “For many lower-league and non-league clubs in particular, getting paying fans in safely is critical to survival.”
Indoor arenas will have a limit of 1,000 — a boost for boxing and darts.
And the news opens the way for 1,000 fans to see Anthony Joshua defend his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at The O2 on December 12.
Up to 1,000 fans could attend the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace in late December, with Twickenham able to let 2,000 in for the likely Autumn Nations Cup final between England and France and crowds would also return at Premiership rugby fixtures.
Kempton will be able to admit punters for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
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