EFL Decide Against Delaying Fixtures 24 Hours to Allow Return of Fans as Soon as Possible

28 November 2020 08:30

The EFL has confirmed that the round of fixtures scheduled for Tuesday 1 December will not be delayed by 24 hours in order to allow fans back into stadia on the first day possible.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced new coronavirus regulations in a tier system across England that will come into effect on 2 December. The the new rules will allow football clubs in Tier 2 to have a maximum of 2,000 fans attend matches, while there will be no attendances of 4,000 across England as there are no professional football clubs based in a Tier 1 area.

However, EFL chairman Rick Parry has announced that, after deliberation, clubs in Tier 2 that have matches on Tuesday will not have their fixtures delayed to allow for the attendance of fans.

EFL clubs are desperate to get their supporters back into stadia | Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

As reported by the Daily Mail, Parry said that the EFL were considering the switch of fixtures being held in Tier 2 areas to the Wednesday, but decided against it. They want the guarantee that the reintroduction of spectators runs smoothly, is a safe event, and happens at the highest standard possible.

The fixtures that were in contention to be pushed back by a day include Bournemouth's Championship home match with Preston, seeing as the area has been designated as Tier 2. Fixtures in London would have also been in consideration to be played on Wednesday, such as QPR's meeting with Bristol City.

A smattering of ties in Leagues One and Two also had the potential to be moved. The likes of AFC Wimbledon, Oxford and Plymouth are playing host, while a handful of teams in League Two face home games, including Colchester.

The JobServe Community Stadium, home of Colchester United | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Colchester United chairman, Robbie Cowling, told Sportsmail (via Daily Mail): "It would have been really short notice. We want to make sure we have nailed everything down, so when people come they feel it is a safe place."

Cowling is not alone in his sentiments, as the EFL want to make sure the return of spectators is done properly and carefully. Colchester will be one of a number of clubs to be reintroducing fans on Saturday 5 December, in the round of fixtures after midweek.

Source: 90min