Christmas has come early for some very lucky football fans. Secret Santa himself, Mr Matt Hancock, has agreed to allow a handful of supporters in stadiums from December 2. But there’s a catch. The UK Health Secretary has stated that only half of the PL will actually be able to play to crowds of up to 2000.
So, let’s find out who’s made Hancock’s naughty list, and who hasn’t.
Naughty List = Tier 3 (Zero Fans)
- Aston Villa (Villa Park)
- Burnley (Turf Moor)
- Leeds United (Elland Road)
- Leicester City (King Power Stadium)
- Manchester City (Etihad Stadium)
- Manchester United (Old Trafford)
- Newcastle United (St James’ Park)
- Sheffield United (Bramall Lane)
- West Bromwich Albion (The Hawthorns)
- Wolves (Molineux)
Nice List = Tier 2 (2000 Fans)
- Arsenal (Emirates Stadium)
- Brighton (AMEX Stadium)
- Chelsea (Stamford Bridge)
- Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park)
- Everton (Goodison Park)
- Fulham (Craven Cottage)
- Liverpool (Anfield)
- Tottenham Hotspur (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)
- Southampton (St Mary’s)
- West Ham (London Stadium)
Arsenal will be the first team that will welcome back its fans for their Europa League game against Rapid Vienna on December 3.
Now, the Emirates has never been known for its raucous atmosphere — not like Highbury was back in the day. So, dropping 2000 Arsenal fans sparingly around their ground should be no different to a normal sell out (ho, ho, ho).
On a serious note, if fans truly are the twelfth man, this surely puts teams who don’t have supporters in their grounds at a disadvantage. Obviously, this announcement will help out lower league clubs who are in financial hardship. And that’s all that really matters.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Matt Hancock.