Sports

Don’t expect fans at English football ‘any time soon’

England’s Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has said it is hard to see fans returning to matches “any time soon”.

If the Premier League and EFL were to resume this season matches would take place behind closed doors, while clubs are also preparing for the possibility of playing the 2020-21 campaign without fans.

“The reality is that we just don’t know how things are going to pan out,” Clarke wrote in a letter to the FA governing council.

“With social distancing in place for some time to come, we do face substantial changes to the whole football ecosystem. For example it’s hard to foresee crowds of fans – who are the lifeblood of the game – returning to matches any time soon.”

Clarke’s letter also spelled out the financial crisis facing the governing body and warned a budget cut of £75m will be “sensible” this year, with a worst-case scenario projecting a £300m loss over four years.

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