Premier League clubs are aiming for stadiums to be at 40 per cent capacity for the start of the 2020-21 season, as they continue to try and get supporters back amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The competition has set up a working group on the issue with the government, and the latest plans would see crowds back at close to half capacity. The return of supporters is similarly seen as potentially influential for lower leagues, whose budget restrictions mean they can’t come back to play until they can generate match day income.

The current plans involve at least a seat between each person, but there are some logistical issues to be worked out.

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The biggest area of discussion revolves around people sitting diagonally to each other, where there is a greater risk of Covid-19 infection than if someone is sat to the side or directly behind. That also presents greater challenges to clubs with older stadiums, where seats are more tightly packed together. It is possible they may have to initially have lower capacities.

Face masks would be mandatory and it is likely there would be some form of electronic ticketing system, so as to also aid ‘track and trace’.

The new season is expected to start on 12 September, with that the date Uefa have decided upon for the European calendar.

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