Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticised the government’s plans to place a blanket limit on attendance, regardless of the size of their stadiums.
From next week all clubs under Tier 1 restrictions will be able to admit up to 4,000 supporters and those in Tier 2 can open their doors to 2,000 fans. Clubs in Tier 3 areas will have to keep their games behind closed doors.
While the news will come as a lifeline to many smaller clubs who rely far more on gate receipts than those at the top of the game, the Premier League’s biggest clubs are frustrated that, despite having some of the largest stadiums in the country, they will still be limited to such small numbers.
“I struggle to put faith in any kind of announcement,” Klopp said. “And I don’t understand why we would now have 2,000 people in a stadium of 60,000, and 2,000 people in a stadium of 9,000. But I’m not surprised that it is not thought through, to be honest.”
Furthermore, given the running costs associated around games, especially when bio-security measures have to be implemented, the attendance caps are far from cost-effective for the bigger Premier League clubs, who also face the issue of appeasing their tens of thousands of season ticket holders, some of whom may not get to see a game this season should attendances not rise.
The Premier League insist the figures of 2,000 and 4,000 supporters is only the start and they are working tirelessly to get a green light from the government for test events to take place in order to admit more fans.