Credit: Tom Hardy - Prost International

It’s been a monumental week for football as fans are welcomed back into stadiums across the country.

On November 24, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that when England came out of lockdown on December 2, teams who play in the ‘tier one’ and ‘tier two’ areas would be able to have spectators.

Events had taken place at venues which piloted the return of supporters in August and September, however they were put on hold due to a rise in Coronavirus infections.

Clubs within tier one would be able to have a maximum of 4000 fans, while clubs in tier two are limited to just 2000. For much smaller venues in either tier, 50% of it’s capacity would be permitted in.

“There was a certain degree of apprehension, But once you got over that it was pure excitement ”

robin sainty,  canaries trust CHAIRMAN

Norwich City is one of those teams who welcomed back supporters, They had 2000 in for their 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on December 5, and will have fans in again for their match with Nottingham Forest this evening.

Among the privileged few at Carrow Road last weekend was the Chairman of the Canaries Trust (Norwich’s supporter group), Robin Sainty. His previous visit to the ground was back in February.

“It was strange, There was a certain degree of apprehension, but once you got over that it was pure excitement.”

“There were only 2000 fans back, but it was a very welcome step back to normality and nice to be part of something again.”

Sainty also sees return of fans as a huge boost to teams in the lower leagues of English football. Many sides are financially dependant on numbers coming through the turnstiles, but due the pandemic that has been unable to happen.

In the last 18 months Bury and Macclesfield Town have both gone under because of financial turmoil.

The Premier League had announced a £250 Million package to clubs in the English Football League while the Government financially supported teams from the National League and below.

 

There are still sides who are unable to have fans back at the grounds because they are in Tier Three, but with the new vaccine being deployed, fans and club will be hoping to get fans, or more fans, back in to stadiums as soon as they can.