Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is “really optimistic” that fans will be back in full capacity stadiums by the start of the 2021/22 season.
The vast majority of the campaign has been played behind closed doors due to the global pandemic, though up to 10,000 home supporters are set to attend the final two matchdays of the league season.
On top of those games, Saturday’s FA Cup final will be one of several test events running around the country, with 21,000 fans in attendance at Wembley.
Supporters will also be present for England’s European Championship matches this summer, in limited numbers at first, and there will also be fans at the Champions League final in Porto at the end of May.
With all social distancing measures set to be removed from June 21, Masters has reiterated his hope that crowds will return in full attendance from August 14, the start of the new Premier League season.
“The fans are starting to come back next week and I hope on August 14 they will be back in full,” Masters said.
”No one knows of course, but I feel really optimistic that we will be full. All the mood music and the messages coming out of Government are positive, with the cautionary caveats and safety will always come first.
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“Maybe the fan experience will be slightly different, but I’m optimistic and that’s our objective.
“Whatever we have to do and put in place, we will and the clubs will step in and do it, so I am optimistic that’s going to happen.
“Full capacity crowds have been the missing ingredient, so let’s be optimistic about it.”