Chelsea coach Frank Lampard believes that all Premier League clubs can host and control at least 2,000 spectators per league match. He insisted that the tier system where some clubs are permitted to host fans while others are not permitted to do so would not give the league a level playing field.
The government of the United Kingdom introduced the tier system to replace the coronavirus restriction imposed on the country earlier in the year. Three tiers were introduced – stadiums that fell under tier one were permitted to host 4,000 spectators, stadiums in tier two were allowed to host 2,000, while those that fell under tier three were not permitted to host spectators.
Initially, London, the part of the United Kingdom where Chelsea football club is based, fell under tier two which saw Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge welcomed 2,000 spectators, during Chelsea vs Leeds United match played on December 5. The match which marked the first time since March 2020 that Chelsea had spectators at their home ground ended 3-1 in favor of the host.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the opportunity to continue having spectators at their home ground was taken away on Monday, December 14, when the UK government announced that London has returned to tier three due to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the city.
In his reaction, Chelsea’s coach, Frank Lampard, that will lead the club to play away from home against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday at 19:00, does not like the idea where some clubs would be allowed to host fans. He urged authorities in the UK to rethink the decision.
Refreshed and ready for tomorrow night 💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/aaEIfUE9Rj— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 14, 2020
“I’m slightly disappointed, even though we’re in Tier 2 and we’ve had fans in already, I did feel as though it should have been a level playing field”, Frank Lampard said on Monday.
“We’ve seen already the backing that they give you and what it does for the game.
“I’m not telling the Government what to do, but I do think we can control 2,000 fans coming in from that tier. It’s unfortunate, to say the least.
“Let’s get it right, we are making it up as we go along. That’s not to sound critical, that’s just a fact that we’ve never been in this position before.
“I think clubs have shown they can control it so far so I would like to have thought that there could be something done to make it exempt.”
Though Premier League contenders for the 2020-2021 season like Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea won’t have the opportunity to host fans again, Liverpool and Everton will continue to host fans until further notice.
Before the Monday pronouncement that London has been returned to tier three, clubs like Manchester City and Manchester United were not permitted to host fans despite insisting that their match venues were safe to entertain fans. The safety of their home grounds proved not to be enough for the UK government to permit them to be exempted from the coronavirus restriction.