The Premier League has today (Wednesday) confirmed that the final two matchweeks of its 2020-21 season will be limited to home fans only, while UEFA has announced that up to 9,500 spectators will be permitted to watch this season’s Europa League final at Stadion Gdańsk in Poland.
The Premier League’s announcement comes after it emerged last week that up to 500 away football fans could be allowed to attend games in the final two rounds of action. Clubs are currently preparing to readmit fans in-line with the government’s reopening schedule for England.
The government’s roadmap details a phased reopening of sectors, with Step 3 – which would come no earlier than May 17 – including a special provision to allow up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower, at large outdoor venues.
The May 17 date is set to allow the final day of the Premier League season on May 23 to go ahead with spectators. The League has also been seeking to reschedule the penultimate round of fixtures so that each of the 20 clubs has a home game with fans in place.
Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, last week wrote to the 20 clubs outlining that the government is proposing to relax the ban on away fans after May 17. The League was proposing that 5% of the permitted capacity be reserved for away fans, up to a limit of 500.
However, the League has now confirmed that only home fans will be in place, subject to the government easing lockdown restrictions. Matchweek 37 will now be played on May 18-19, with the final matches of the season kicking off at 4pm BST on May 23 as planned.
The Premier League said in a statement: “Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the League and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance.
“The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance. Clubs have a proven track record of providing COVID-safe environments and have operational plans in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to their stadiums. Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021-22 season.”
Meanwhile, European football’s governing body has said it has received confirmation from local authorities in Poland to allow limited access for fans to the 2021 Europa League final on May 26 at Stadion Gdańsk.
A capacity of 25% of the stadium, or up to 9,500 spectators, has been permitted. UEFA said supporters from abroad will have to comply with border entry restrictions and requirements that will be in force at the time of the final as no exemptions will be granted to ticket holders.
Access to the stadium will be granted in line with the applicable local legislation, which is to be confirmed by local authorities this week and may include the need for proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.
The second legs of the semi-finals between Arsenal and Villarreal, and AS Roma and Manchester United, take place tomorrow, with UEFA having launched a ticket sales process that is due to end at 2pm CEST on Friday.
UEFA said it will reimburse the full price of the ticket to successful buyers, should a reduction to the stadium capacity be announced by the local authorities at a later stage. A total of 6,000 tickets out of 9,500 are available for fans and the general public to purchase.
The two teams who reach the final will receive 2,000 tickets each, while 2,000 tickets are being offered for sale to the general public via UEFA.com. The remaining tickets are allocated to the local organising committee, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters. Tickets have been priced at between €40 (£34.50/$48) and €130.
Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium is scheduled to host this season’s Champions League final on May 29. Fans are expected to be allowed to attend the game, but capacity limits have yet to be specified by UEFA or Turkish authorities.