Football Business : European Leagues start work on project ‘fans in stadium’ for new season

Football without fans is like football without its soul and no one understands it better than the European football leagues. Be it Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League or Dutch Football league Eredivisie, all are gearing up to open stadium gates for their fans from the next season. According to most of the leagues, provided health authorities allow, stadiums can start welcoming fans to 25-30% of its capacity starting from the new season. 
 
Bundesliga in talks with health authorities about allowing fans back into stadiums
 
The German Football League (DFL) and German Football Association (DFB) are in talks with health authorities about allowing fans back into stadiums for soccer matches in Germany. A DFL statement on 10th July confirmed that the organising body for the top-flight Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga is holding discussions with the German federal ministry of health over the safety requirements that would enable supporters to return to games in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Friedrich Curtius, the secretary general of the DFB, said in a statement that he expects the national soccer body to develop protocols that would allow spectators to attend German national team games later this year. If approved, protocols would likely only allow for the partial attendance of fans, meaning that clubs will not yet be able to fill stadiums to full capacity on matchdays.

‘In order to assist clubs in creating concepts for their individual locations, following further discussions with the ministry, the DFL will continue to devise a guideline for the basic structure of local concepts and release this to the clubs,’ the DFL said.

La Liga also working towards fans attendance in the stadiums
 

The 2020-21 season of the Spanish football league (La Liga) is expected to begin in September this year, the league’s president Javier Tebas said. But what about the fans? Will the league still be played in empty stadiums?

“It’s quite probable that there will be some fans inside the stadium when the new season starts on September 12,” said Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, La Liga India, at a virtual press conference held on Wednesday.

He said the league is working with the Spanish government and health experts to ensure some fans are allowed inside the stadium.

“But don’t expect immediately that there will be 100,000 fans at Camp Nou or 80,000 at Santiago Bernabeu stadium, we are still a few months away from that,” La Liga’s India head added.

Premier League also in talks with authorities according to a report
 
Elsewhere, the Times newspaper has reported that English soccer’s top-flight Premier League is also considering allowing fans back into stadiums from next season, pending ongoing talks with the UK government and health officials.

According to the Times report, clubs could be permitted to host matches at between 30 and 50 per cent capacity, with supporters also likely be instructed to wear face masks and venues opening up to three hours prior to kick-off.

It also comes after the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on 9th July that domestic soccer in the Netherlands would resume in September with grounds at 15 to 35 per cent capacity.