According to leading Manchester United journalist Andy Mitten, the club will meet with the authorities on Thursday to put forward their plans to let fans back into Old Trafford for matches.
This development comes despite Government guidance stating fans would be able to return in limited numbers from October.
The first step, as part of United’s proposal, is to discuss the possibility of allowing 12,000 spectators to attend a trial for their opening Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace on September 19.
Then the following steps should allow for the number of fans allowed into the stadium to increase.
The article published in The Athletic states that United won’t push for anything that compromises safety, so it’s important not to get too excited about this until talks are held with the authorities.
Exclusive story by @AndyMitten: Manchester United hoping to get permission to allow 12,000 fans into Old Trafford for their game against Crystal Palace on Sept 19, i.e. use it as a trial event. Several other clubs working on similar proposals #MUFC https://t.co/4xRXxRIrs8
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKay) September 9, 2020
Mitten states if the Palace trial goes ahead, the capacity could increase for the home game against Tottenham. But they will need to go back to the drawing board if the authorities refuse to allow fans into the first game of the new season.
It is crucial for football clubs to get fans back into games as soon as possible. According to The Athletic, United’s matchday revenues from each home game are around £4m.
A club spokesperson said: “We are working with the Premier League, DCMS, SGSA and the local authorities on planning a safe return of fans to matches at Old Trafford as soon as it is permitted.
“We are preparing for a large number of possible eventualities and reviewing the options for the first test event and we will only confirm this once the relevant local and national approvals have been agreed.”
Updates when we have them.