The overwhelming majority of English Premier League games completed since the restart of the 2019-20 season last summer have been played behind closed doors and without supporters because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As ESPN’s Mark Ogden explained, however, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that sporting events could be opened to spectators on May 17 barring a spike in coronavirus cases and/or infection rates. Clubs will be able to permit either 10,000 fans or 25% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is the lowest figure.
Assuming venues can open to customers on May 17, Premier League clubs will welcome supporters for the final day of the season on May 23. This could become a controversial topic, however, as home teams either fighting to avoid relegation or competing for European places in the table will receive one-off morale boosts not enjoyed by most clubs throughout the campaign.
It was previously reported that the Football Association was planning on using the Carabao Cup final on April 25 and the FA Cup final on May 15 as test events for the returns of fans to games.
Earlier in the day, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported there’s “a growing sense of optimism” among those in the NFL that stadiums could be full for games during the fall months.