Steve Bruce reveals his personal view as Newcastle United fans wait on Premier League green light
Newcastle United fans could be back inside St James’s Park next month.
The club’s final home game, the fixture against Sheffield United, could be put back to May 18 or 19 to allow up 10,000 fans inside the stadium, which was closed to fans last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Bruce, however, fears that it will be a “long time” before St James’s Park can again be filled to its 52,000 capacity, despite the falling numbers of infections and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.
“Me, personally, I don’t think we’re going to see, for a long time, stadiums packed,” said United’s head coach. “I just can’t see it. We’re going to have restricted capacity.
"All of these things we have to cope with. I think the long-term effects of what’s just happened, not just in football ... it’s everywhere, for everybody.
"It’s been quite a remarkable, difficult year for everybody concerned, and certainly in the football world as well, certainly. when you talk about finances, so they’re conversations for the next few weeks, and we’ll see where we are after that.”
Lockdown restrictions are set to be further eased next month, and large outdoor venues will be able to welcome up to 10,000 people from May 17.
Speaking last month, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Hopefully, the final two fixtures of our season will have up to 10,000 supporters in them all.
"We've got to go past those first initial steps in the government's roadmap to get there, so hopefully that’ll be a fantastic finale to end the season."