Arsenal fans won’t return to the Emirates Stadium on October 3rd, with the Government pausing plans to reintroduce spectators.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: <> during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on September 19, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Alexandre Lacazette during the Premier League match on September 19, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Speaking on Tuesday, Michael Gove told BBC Breakfast (via Sky Sports) that the Government are planning to pause their programme to return fans to stadiums. He added that they need to treat sporting events with caution at this stage.

The initial plans were to have stadiums a third full from October 1st. For Arsenal, that meant 15,000 to 20,000 fans returning to the Emirates Stadium on the 3rd for a match against Sheffield United.

However, the continuing rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases is leading to further restrictions. Amid those restrictions, it seems the Government feel it just doesn’t make sense to gather thousands for a football match.

It’s less about the proximity of supporters in the stadium. With the ground only a third full you could easily give everyone a couple of spare seats either side. But those fans will all get on the same trains and buses and tube carriages.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the decision, it seems we’ll need to wait a big longer to have crowds back.