The UK’s elite sporting world – including the Premier League – have released a statement ramping up pressure on the government for the return of fans to sports stadia.
The statement which was also featured on West Ham’s official club website said:
“The Premier League has issued the following joint statement with British Horseracing (BHA), EFL, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Rugby Football League (RFL) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU)…
We are grateful to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, for taking the time to discuss with us the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on the sports sector and issues around the partial return of fans to sports events which is currently under review by the Government. It was a constructive and productive meeting.
All of our organisations are committed to public safety.
Today we were able to explain our extensive arrangements for how we can manage a controlled return of fans following all relevant public health guidelines. It is our firm belief that sports fans will be as safe as in other areas of activity currently permitted.
We also reiterated a commitment to continue to give full assistance to the Government with Test and Trace requirements and public health messaging.
We conveyed to the Secretary of State the very serious financial situation now facing our sports, clubs and venues and that we believe we can stage events safely.
It is clear that if fans cannot return soon that there will be very serious economic implications across our sporting sector.
Our sports have already demonstrated through staging fixtures behind closed doors, in test events, and through the return of recreational sport, that we can deliver the very highest standards in safety and best practice.
We will continue to engage with the government in the days ahead and provide any further evidence required.”
ClaretandHugh says: West Ham along with other Premier League clubs were hoping that limited crowds could return from 1st October but that is no looking likely after an increase in infection numbers.They were hoping the London Stadium could host Manchester City on 24th October with up to 25 per cent of the capacity.The government have also limited the maximum test events to 1,000 fans. West Ham are reported to have lost £12m from playing five home games behind closed doors last season and they think they could lose another £30m this season in ticket and corporate hospitality in a worst-case scenario. All football clubs will be in the same position with many earning much more in ticket revenue than the Hammers.