British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced football fans should be allowed back into stadiums by October in a huge boost for next season.
Supporters have been banned from entering grounds since football returned – with just 300 players, staff and personnel allowed inside.
But now the Prime Minister has revealed fans may be allowed back early on in the 2020-21 season – set to start on August 12 – subject to trial runs, SunSports has reported.
Pilot tests will begin as early as next month with a view to having fans in stadiums as soon as possible.
Johnson said: “From 1 August we will pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn.
“From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia in a Covid-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”
But fans face random ballots for match tickets next season due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Premier League’s chief medical officer Mark Gillett has predicted there are unlikely to be any capacity crowds allowed for all of the 2020-21 campaign.
The Premier League recently offered itself up as a nationwide “guinea pig” to lead the way back for fans at sports events.
League chief executive Richard Masters revealed he had told the Government-backed cross-sport working group that football will try out any dry runs that could open up the turnstiles.
But with fans soon able to return to stadiums, broadcasters are set to end the TV bonanza.
Since the restart, every match has been available to watch live to make up for fans being banned entering grounds.