Fans might be allowed into hotel suites but still won’t be able to sit in the bleachers, highlighting the current confusing regulations
Middlesbrough has opened the doors to a home suite for today’s game against Reading for a try that could see fans returning to Riverside for games in the weeks to come
But in one example of the government’s bewildering inconsistencies preventing fans from being in the stands for matches, fans will have to watch the match on screens – despite the action unfolding just steps away
For today’s game against Reading, club staff and their families – 50 in total – are in one of the hospitality suites for a safe social distancing trial
And if successful, Boro hopes to host up to 250 fans at the Riverside for home and away games.
However, due to government regulations, fans will not be allowed to sit in the stands for the game and will even have to watch the home games on a screen.
Other Championship clubs including Watford, Norwich and Millwall are planning to host beamback events for upcoming matches
The government halted supporters’ planned return to stadiums this month, despite a series of successful pilot events, one of which took place in Boro as 1,000 supporters attended for the Bournemouth match
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said this week that keeping fans away from football stadiums was « positively hateful » but necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus
A statement this week said: « From the league’s stance, it seems illogical for socially distanced events to take place indoors in artistic and musical venues when football clubs don’t. are not allowed to do the same in the outdoor stadiums
« Football is one of the most regulated areas of crowd management and we know from the successful organization of eight pilot events that clubs are able to introduce appropriate measures which will meet the demands of social distancing, rule of six and test and traceability »
Boro boss said: “I don’t know who makes the decisions Look at the crowd at Albert Hall watching Arsene Wenger this week It can happen but we can’t have fans at matches? Explain- me that
« We had a successful pilot game last month against Bournemouth We had no problem We had families together and it was safe and well organized and the feedback was great
« People need an outlet, it’s so miserable and depressing the minute football can help »
Middlesbrough FC, Reading FC, Neil Warnock, EFL Championship, Riverside Stadium
World news – UK – Boro hosts Riverside hospitality trial for Reading game
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