Richard Masters has been talking about the return of Premier League football fans to St James Park and the other top tier stadiums.
There will definitely not be fans allowed into games for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, as the authorities attempt to complete the league campaign by the end of July.
However, the Chief Executive of the Premier League has talked about planning ahead for the 2020/21 season and the possibilities then.
Next season in the Premier League is likely to start very quickly after the end of this 2019/20 season, by the start of September at the very latest.
So it is all but impossible to see fans allowed into stadiums when next season starts.
However, Masters says that there is ‘optimism’ that supporters will start being allowed back in sometime during next season.
The Premier League CEO saying that in line with previous rumours / reports, this is very likely to be on a ‘phased’ basis. Meaning it would start with a small percentage of the fans allowed in at Newcastle and elsewhere, then going higher as the season and the virus situation progresses in the right direction.
As Richard Masters says, it will give a boost to supporters to see football back in June, even if behind closed doors, but that nothing beats having fans inside the stadiums.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters talking to Sky Sports News:
“No one knows when matches will move away from the behind closed doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place.
“But there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis.
“Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we’ve been working towards.
“We’ve got some incredible fans in this country and we all know the Premier League as we know and love it won’t be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles.
“Getting it back on our TV screens for people to enjoy will hopefully give the whole country a boost [in the meantime].
“We have put a new staging post in the ground to start on June 17 but to get there we have got to go through a lot of hard work and more consultation to get our stage three protocols agreed.
“There is still a lot of work to be done before we can kick-off.”