The Premier League 2019/20 season will begin without fans in attendance but FA Community Shield could be used as a test event
The government has dashed hope that fans could return to Premier League stadiums for the start of the 2020/21 season, after revealing the target date for partial crowds.
It has been announced that the 2020/21 season will begin on September 12 but the first few weeks of the season will continue in the same fashion as the past few months – with fans forced to watch on from home.
Instead, the target date for partial crowds to be allowed at Premier League matches is October 1.
“The October 1 deadline is certainly the target that we’re looking at,” Sports Minister Simon Huddleston said.
“If you look at various announcements we’ve made, some have been put forward, some have been pushed back, but that’s a pretty firm one.
“In the whole scheme of things, it’s not that far away – 60-something days and we’ll be there – so I would be surprised if that date was moved.”
The FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on August 29 and the Women’s Super League could be used as test events for the return of fans to watch live matches but supporters were warned the schedule could be pushed back if social distancing regulations were not adhered to.
“There are particular challenges with certain sports. People have got to realise if you don’t behave, you won’t have more people in stadiums.
“They’ve got to take that personal responsibility and realise that if they don’t behave appropriately they’re risking the game for everybody.”