Fans back into stadiums: Which matches will be first and how will supporters get tickets?

Simon Collings
·4-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Football fans across the country are set to return to sports venues next month as coronavirus restrictions are eased in areas with lower infection rates.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that outdoor and indoor venues in Tier 1 and 2 areas would be allowed to admit spectators on a limited basis.

With London expect to be classed as Tier 2, here’s what it means for fans of capital clubs…

Premier League

Arsenal

Tickets for their first game, which is against Rapid Vienna on December 3, will be made available on a “first come, first served” priority sale to Gold and Premium Members, who made their Initial Payment and registered for the ballot in September. After that game the club will resume their plans to hold a ticketing ballot for matches.

West Ham United FC via Getty Images
West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Chelsea

The club have not announced a policy for matches with a limited capacity, but should now following the Government’s announcement. They have also not asked fans to renew season tickets yet.

Crystal Palace

Palace are currently looking at the process following the Government’s announcement. It is likely to be an allocation process, with priority going to the the club’s season ticket holders. There should be more information communicated to fans this week.

Fulham

Before the season started, the club explained that while Craven Cottage operates at a reduced capacity, the limited number of match tickets which will be available at each home game will be sold via a balloting process - with 2019/20 season ticket holders initially provided with priority to enter.

Tottenham

Season ticket holders who have renewed will have an option to be entered into a ballot for the opportunity to access a ticket for matches. Tottenham shall aim to ensure that this system is well-communicated, fair and even-handed and that no one supporter receives multiple picks if others have not had the chance to do so.

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

West Ham

The Hammers are understood to have a system in place and will communicate it with supporters before their first home game with fans.

Championship

Brentford

The Bees communicated in August that restricted access to games under a limited stadium capacity scenario will be given to 2020/21 season ticket holders, who have paid for their seats in full. Plans are being developed on the fairest way to admit supporters on a rotation basis.

Millwall

The club are assessing the situation, but priority will go to their 3,000 season ticket holders.

QPR

It was explained in September season ticket holders will have priority for all limited-capacity games this season and will be able to apply for matches via a ballot system. Season ticket holders will be treated equally, irrespective of how long they have been one.

Watford

The Hornets said in August they plan to run a match ballot that will allocate places for those who come to support us them most regularly; prioritising season ticket holders and also including match ticket buyers whenever possible.

Joe Pigott scored both of AFC Wimbledon’s opening goals at the new £30m Plough Lane on Tuesday nightGetty Images
Joe Pigott scored both of AFC Wimbledon’s opening goals at the new £30m Plough Lane on Tuesday nightGetty Images

League One

AFC Wimbledon

The Dons do not expect to have necessary safety measures in place to welcome a limited number of fans to their new Plough Lane stadium until January, so won’t be welcoming back supporters yet. “Naturally, we will try our best to speed up the process. But there is a lot of work to be done first, we will not compromise our long-term ability to use the stadium – and we will not take stupid risks when the safety and security of absolutely everyone is at stake,” said CEO Joe Palmer.

Charlton

The club should communicate a plan with supporters this week. For the game with Doncaster in September, which had 1,000 fans, season ticket holders who purchased before full season tickets were replaced by the 22-game season tickets qualified to purchase tickets for the match. Access to tickets was then decided through the club’s loyalty point scheme.

League Two

Leyton Orient

The club are expected to communicate later this week what the system will be for tickets. CEO Danny Macklin tweeted on Monday: “Sounds good news regarding a return of fans - obviously we all await government guidelines on what tier @BreyerGStadium will be in. News when we have it probably later in week @leytonorientfc #LOFC"