Leeds fans back in grounds for the final two games of the season
30 Apr 2021 08:50 pm, by YorkshireSquare
With the path out of lockdown on track it is looking like there will at last be fans inside Premier League grounds before the end of the season. Following the next loosening of Covid restrictions on 17th May, up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower will be allowed in stadiums for sporting events. To ensure every team benefits from having fans in their stadium, the Premier League have rescheduled match rounds 36 and 37, meaning Leeds penultimate away game of the season against Burnley will not be played at 12:30pm on Saturday 15th May whilst the final away game against Southampton will now be moved to a midweek slot on either Tuesday 18th May or Wednesday 19th May.
Only home fans have were permitted to attend top-flight games since during the relaxation of the rules last year, but this time round up to 500 away fans could be allowed in to watch the final two games of the season. An email from Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to clubs on Thursday revealed that the government is set to allow up to 5% of the capacity to be made up of away fans. Clubs have been asked to respond by the close of play on Friday on whether they are in favour of welcoming up to 500 away fans and whether they think it would be possible, given they would need local authority approval.
If everything goes to plan that could mean 400 Leeds fans would be allowed at St Mary's Stadium for the penultimate game of the season and around 9,400 at Elland Road for the final game of the season when we take on West Brom on 23rd May. The only time fans were able to witness a Leeds game in the flesh so far this season was our Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in December. On that occasion 2,000 home fans were allowed to attend, though the odd Leeds fan may have snuck in with them.
Leeds United confirmed their plans for season ticket holders back in December 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 any 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 attend a match during the 2020/21 season they would only need to pay for one match to top up their Season Tickets for the 2021/22 season. After Season Ticket holders priority and when capacities allow, members would receive an allocation of the tickets available.
The atmosphere will not quite be the same without the full force of 37,000 Leeds fans spurring the team on but as the League Cup final showed, even 8,000 fans make a huge difference. The real-life cheers and exasperation so much more evocative than the fake crowd noise piped over the TV pictures we have grown used to. Jus the first step in getting back to full crowds cheering on Leeds United in the Premier League for the first time in seventeen years!