This is when Sunderland fans could return to the Stadium of Light - according to an EFL chief

Sunderland fans could be allowed to return to the Stadium of Light as early as September – according to one EFL owner.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 2:50 pm
This is when Sunderland fans could return to the Stadium of Light

It had largely been expected that the early stages of the 2020/21 season would take place behind closed doors – with clubs asked to plan for October being the earliest point that fans could be allowed back into stadiums.

But Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann says there is now hope that fans could be able to watch their sides in September, which is when the new EFL season is expected to begin.

It is understood that under loose EFL plans, League One could kick-off in the second week of September – ensuring clubs can have as normal a pre-season as possible given the late conclusion of the current campaign.

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Swann and Scunthorpe are already planning for a September restart and hope that supporters will be able to attend games from the outset. There is an understanding, however, that capacities are likely to be limited in the early months of football’s return given current social distancing measures.

Yet according to the Scunthorpe chairman, talks have already been held over fans returning in September – all under the proviso that stadiums can be adapted to ensure social distancing is adhered to.

Speaking about the potential return of the EFL, Swann said: “The beginning of August will be difficult to start the new season, so you are probably looking at September at the earliest which is another three months.

“That is going to be tough for clubs to survive. If it’s the beginning of September, most clubs in this division will need money in July to help get us through until then.

“We are hoping it is September and there is also talk of some semblance of crowds coming back if we can get our stadium in a position to do that. We will work as hard as we can in the coming months to have something in place so we can keep some sort of distance between the fans.”