What tier two football means for Brighton, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham fans

Brighton, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham will be able to allow fans into their stadiums for their first Premier League matches in December under the Government’s new tier system in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber

Those clubs are within tier two areas, meaning if the clubs wish to they can welcome in up to 2,000 fans.

Those would be the first top-flight matches to be attended by fans since the Covid-19 outbreak took hold in March.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The Premier League is yet to confirm the scheduling for matches to be played over the weekend of December 5 and 6.

Brighton will host Southampton, Chelsea are at home to Leeds, champions Liverpool take on Wolves at Anfield while West Ham could welcome fans to the London Stadium for the visit of Manchester United.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said, “We are used to staging events for up to 30,000 people, so in some ways we are getting back to what we do and what we have been trained to do.

“That's exciting actually. The one thing I have always enjoyed about working in football strangely are the periods in-between matches when the stadium is empty and peaceful, I now hate those periods!

“So the thought of bringing even 2000 fans back in the next week or two is very exciting. Our staff are really energised and it's a lift for them.

It's not going to financially change our lives in any way, in fact it's probably going to contribute to our losses more than anything. But it's a small step towards where we want to go which is back to normal, which is having a full stadium again.”

The other six matches will be played in tier three areas, where fans are still not allowed.

EFL chairman Rick Parry said his competition was considering whether to switch next Tuesday’s matches to Wednesday if any of the home clubs were able to allow fans in after the lockdown period ends.

Of the games to be played on Tuesday, Bournemouth’s Championship match against Preston could welcome fans if it is pushed back 24 hours.

So too could QPR’s match against Bristol City.

In League One, AFC Wimbledon, in tier two, would be allowed supporters in for the visit of Peterborough if the game is rescheduled.

Crewe could too for the match against Swindon, as could Oxford (against Ipswich), Northampton (against Fleetwood) and Plymouth (against Rochdale).

In League Two, games at Colchester, Forest Green and Harrogate would be able to allow fans in if they were moved to December 2.

Of the matches already scheduled to be played on Wednesday, Luton can allow in fans for the Championship visit of Norwich, as can Wycombe for the match against Stoke.

In League One, Charlton’s game against MK Dons may be attended by supporters, as can Shrewsbury – who host Accrington.

League Two Cambridge said subject to approval they were looking forward to welcoming fans back against Mansfield, while Carlisle could too for the game against Salford.

The Government had been set to allow supporters into sports venues from October 1, but scrapped the plans after a rise in coronavirus infection rates nationwide.

Worcester’s match against Bath on Saturday, December 5 is the first Gallagher Premiership match which would be able to allow in spectators under the new rules.