Crowds return to football but how long will we have to wait to get back inside Elland Road?

03 Dec 2020 09:06 am, by YorkshireSquare

A slight slither of normality was on show last night as crowds of actual, real life football supporters returned to stadiums last night as lockdown two came to an end. The new rules allow for crowds of up to 2,000 supporters in Tier 2 areas and 4,000 supporters in Tier 1 areas. It was a slightly odd sight seeing fans socially distanced around the stands as Shrewsbury Town drew two all with Accrington Stanley at New Meadow and Luton Town beat Norwich three one at Kenilworth Road but with a vaccine on the way next week it could be the start of supporters returning in bigger numbers next year. This weekend will also see crowds return to the Premier League since March with Tier 2 London set to host two games on Saturday including West Ham v Manchester United and more importantly Chelsea v Leeds United.

Chelsea will allocate 2,000 tickets amongst season ticket holders and those with hospitality packages on a ballot system, charging an incredible £75 per ticket. It will be interesting to see what affect plating in front of fans will make. Whilst 2,000 people in smaller EFL grounds may provide a certain amount of atmosphere 2,000 people rattling round a 40,000 seat stadium may be even more strange than playing in front of an empty crowd. For those of us who remember cold Tuesday nights in the Johnston’s Paint Trophy and the sparse 8,000 crowds, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. Some fans will be keen to return to Elland Road, others will want to wait until the stands are full once again but when can we reasonably expect anyone to be heading back through the turnstiles?

With cases in Leeds and the wider West Yorkshire area falling by the day, the city is now close to the national average with many London boroughs seeing more cases than Leeds. The next review of the tier system is set for 16th December and there is hope the city may move into Tier 2 if cases and hospital admissions continue to fall. This may come too soon for the Newcastle United game at Elland Road on the evening of 16th December but there is a possibility fans could be walking back down the Lowfields Road and into the stadium to see live football on the 27th December for the Burnley game. Should the city move into Tier 2 and fans are allowed to return there is the obvious question regarding how tickets are allocated.

Leeds United confirmed their plans for season ticket holders on Wednesday with 2020/21 Season Tickets credits rolling over to the 2021/22 season with prices frozen yet again. All current Season Ticket holders will be given priority for tickets at home matches via a ballot system with groups of friends and family able to enter ballots together. Ticket credits from the 2020/21 season will be rolled over into next season, on a pro-rata basis. If someone were to two matches during the 2020/21 season they would only need to pay for two matches to top up their Season Tickets for the 2021/22 season. After Season Ticket holders priority and when capacities allow, members will receive an allocation of the tickets available.

So with the prospect of crowds back at Elland Road not a too distant hope would you return to watch Leeds United live as part of a reduced crowd? Or are you waiting for the full force of 37,000 Leeds fans to be back in the stadium cheering Leeds United on?