With clubs from the UK’s seventh tier of football and below having successfully welcomed fans back to their grounds (with social distancing measures in place) teams higher up the pyramid are putting their weight behind the #LetFansIn campaign.
Just this week the Government has announced that large indoor venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 will be reopening this year for special performances, yet outdoor sports venues remain conspicuously absent from plans.
Whether their ammission is a result of inherent Tory classism (spoilers: it is) or braindead oversight is unclear, but what is startlingly apparent is that if it is safe to permit 5,000 people into an enclosed venue, it is more than safe to allow the same number into open air stadiums.
The #LetFansIn campaign has already helped bring crowds back to the non league game, and its sights are now firmly set on the entire footballing pyramid.
Clubs from the Premier League down through all levels of British football have voiced support for the initiative, highlighting the far-reaching financial implications of current stadium closures.
Whilst those at the top of the tree can weather the current loss of matchday revenue, basically every other team cannot. Gate receipts can constitute as much as 90 percent of club revenue and to have that withheld without any associated support structure will be fatal to a great many.
As with anything turning public support and clear financial arguments will be the only things that will move the incumbent Tory Government to action, and one would hope that Premier League teams – and other prominent voices from within the sport – will help to create both.
It was all too easy for those in power to ignore the plight of local clubs, but as the call to #LetFansIn grows ever louder this will only become harder.