Brentford and Swansea City have each been allocated an extra 1,000 tickets for Saturday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium, bringing the total capacity for the match to 12,000.
Current guidelines set by the UK government mean that up to 10,000 fans can attend events at large outdoor venues in England. Earlier in the week, Brentford and Swansea urged the government to allow more fans for Saturday’s showpiece fixture at Wembley, which has an overall capacity of 90,000.
The two clubs had initially been allocated 4,000 tickets each but they have now been given an extra 1,000 each as part of an NHS trial. The capacity limit for the League One and League Two play-off finals, which will take place on Sunday and Monday, respectively, will remain 10,000.
The remaining 2,000 tickets for the Championship play-off final will be split between Club Wembley, event organisers and sponsors. In line with contractual arrangements, EFL sponsors and partners will receive around five per cent of the allocation, with any unused tickets to be passed to clubs.
The EFL had requested that this weekend’s play-off finals be part of the government’s Events Research Programme, which would have allowed significantly more fans to attend the games. This proved unsuccessful and the matches will instead adhere to the current guidelines, with the exception of the Championship final, which will welcome an extra 2,000 fans.
An EFL spokesperson said: “While the small increase in the Championship final is welcome, we would of course have preferred to admit fans in much greater numbers, but like other public events are subject to the government’s Step 3 guidance.
“Unfortunately, the play-offs were not selected to operate as a pilot event as part of the government’s Events Research Programme – despite a request from the EFL on behalf of the clubs involved and their supporters – which meant that achieving significantly greater capacities at all three finals was not possible.
“The EFL shares the disappointment of the clubs and their supporters that many fans will be absent but we will continue to liaise with the government in the coming weeks as we pursue our aspiration of a return to full stadia for the start of next season.”
Brentford and Swansea’s calls for the capacity to be increased came after Wembley recently welcomed more than 20,000 fans for the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City. This match formed part of the government’s Events Research Programme, as did an FA Cup semi-final and the Carabao Cup final, which were also held at Wembley.
Brentford chief executive Jon Varney said it was “unjust” that Wembley could welcome more than 20,000 fans for the FA Cup final and only half of that number for the Championship play-off final. Swansea chief executive Julian Winter also said the decision seemed “unfair” given the size and capacity of Wembley.