Coronavirus: Possibility of no fans at EFL games until 2021

PUBLISHED: 17:18 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 01 May 2020

An official match ball of the Sky Bet EFL

An official match ball of the Sky Bet EFL

PA Wire/PA Images

Bradford have been told of the growing likelihood that supporters will not be able to attend their games until 2021, the League Two club have revealed.

The English Football League is in discussions over how to end the current season, which has been curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is widely accepted that all games will be played behind closed doors if and when the action can resume.

League Two clubs met for a conference call on Thursday where certain proposals were discussed and the Bantams have revealed the EFL told them to prepare not to have fans in their stadium for the rest of the year.

“City officials have recently been informed of the ever-growing possibility of supporters being unable to attend matches until 2021,” a club statement read.

“And it is now highly likely that next season will commence behind closed doors.

“This comes following a meeting yesterday held between the EFL and the Bantams’ Sky Bet League Two colleagues.”

As a result, City have suspended season-ticket sales for next season.

“The decision has been taken as the club continues to await further information regarding a conclusion to the current campaign, with the start date for next season yet to be confirmed,” the statement added.

“The club will endeavour to ensure those who have already purchased season tickets for the coming campaign will be able to view matches – free of charge – from home via iFollow.

“If this is not preferred then refunds will become available at a later date.

“The club will move to update supporters on this matter as soon as possible, with talks to continue over the coming weeks between the relevant governing bodies.”

Leyton Orient chief executive Danny Macklin believes income from streaming games could save some EFL clubs if the supporter shutout does last the rest of the year.

Clubs currently get 80 per cent of subscriptions to the EFL’s iFollow platform and numbers would likely go through the roof if all games are made available to watch.

That would go some way to plugging the large holes left by the loss of matchday income, which Macklin reveals comes in at close to £100,000 per game for Orient.

“It is a sizeable figure that nears six figures when you include season-ticket money pro rata,” he told the PA news agency.

“We are doing a number of things to plug those gaps. Clearly if we do go behind closed doors streaming will become the most important product that we have ever had.

“It will become absolutely vital that we as a club individually, and as a league combined, utilise that opportunity because that will potentially be the only way that fans can watch football.”

Macklin, whose club are in mid-table in League Two, has reiterated his stance that it is too early to call the season off but admits D-Day is approaching.

“There will become a stage where a decision does have to be made, but I don’t think we are at that junction yet,” he said.

“Now is all about fact-finding and finding the implications and considerations of returning to training and returning to playing.

“At the moment, that information is being gathered and all we can do is patiently wait on the governance and advice from the Government on that.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 08:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton understands perspective will be important as they look to get themselves into the League Two play-off places.

Thu, 17:03

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed it could be a chance for young creative attacker Jordan Maguire-Drew to shine as they travel away to Port Vale.

Thu, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed the club is already working on a number of contract extensions for players, including top goal scorer Danny Johnson.

Wed, 17:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has explained the reasons behind the Port Vale match being swapped to an earlier kick-off.

Wed, 12:00

Leyton Orient defender Dan Happe insists it’s a rare occasion for him to find the back of the net but was more focused on the clean sheet and picking up the win.

Wed, 09:30

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton heaps praise on young defender Dan Happe as he netted the winner in their 1-0 victory over Bradford City.

Tue, 12:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton is hoping to be able to stick with a similar line-up for the Bradford City clash on the back of a 3-0 win over Harrogate Town.


Let’s get physical! One of the dangers of lockdown is to be lulled into laziness, watching too many box sets, and eating and drinking too much, but there is no excuse to not start exercising to get fit and stay healthy.

UK Government Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced extra measures to support workers and businesses throughout winter, including a furlough scheme extension paying 80 per cent of staff wages.

The way the UK does business with Europe changes from January 1, heralding a new start. All companies that trade with the EU need to act now to make sure they are set to go.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser