Fans could return at end of the season, says Masters

Plans to have up to 10,000 supporters in stadium for final home game.

By Bruce Talbot • 13 March 2021

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters hopes Albion and other clubs will be able to have supporters back for one game before the end of the season.

Up to 10,000 fans or 25% of a stadium’s capacity will be allowed into stadiums from Monday, 17 May provided the government is able to stick to its scheduled roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions.

To maintain a competitive balance the League hopes all clubs will play one game at home. One option is that matches scheduled for 11-12 May, which include Albion’s Amex fixture against West Ham United, are moved back a week to 18-19 May.

Another is to move those games to May 15-16, which coincides with the FA Cup final, and push fixtures scheduled for that weekend back a few days. Albion are due to host Manchester City on May 15 in their final home game of the season.


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Potter's Southampton press conference

The final round of fixtures is on Sunday 23 May when Albion are away to Arsenal.

"Hopefully the final two fixtures of our season will have up to 10,000 supporters in them all," said Masters. "We've got to go past those first initial steps in the government's roadmap to get there, so hopefully that will be a fantastic finale to end the season."

Fans returning in numbers to grounds would be a positive end to what has been a tough period for the Premier League and its clubs. Albion staged two games in December in front of crowds of 2,000 but by the end of the season, according to Masters, clubs will have collectively lost close to £2bn since the start of the pandemic a year ago.