Football Trade Directory

Nine EFL matches to have fans attend this weekend

Up to 1,000 fans will be allowed to attend nine different English Football League games this weekend as part of the government's crowd pilots.

Ten home clubs were initially permitted to host the pilots, but Luton Town pulled out on Wednesday, saying they were not given enough time to prepare.

Discussions between the EFL and the government about a return for more supporters from 1 October continue.

No fans have attended an EFL league fixture since March because of coronavirus.

Two Championship games, four League One matches and three in League Two have been chosen for this weekend.

The following games, all taking place on Saturday, are set to have up to 1,000 fans each (all kick-off times 15:00 BST unless stated):


§  Middlesbrough v AFC Bournemouth

§  Norwich City v Preston North End

League One

§  Blackpool v Swindon Town

§  Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers

§  Hull City v Crewe Alexandra

§  Shrewsbury Town v Northampton Town

League Two

§  Carlisle United v Southend United (13:00 BST)

§  Forest Green Rovers v Bradford City

§  Morecambe v Cambridge United

"It's encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to 1,000 fans this week," said EFL chair Rick Parry.

"The health and wellbeing of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge [in a crowd pilot at 8 September's EFL Trophy game], social distancing can be applied safely.

"The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions."

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: "I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome [this] news.

"This will help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so."

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