Arsenal have confirmed they are hoping to allow fans back into the Emirates Stadium on a reduced capacity basis for their home clash with Sheffield United on 3 October.
Football in England has been played behind closed doors since the resumption of play back in June as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the first steps to welcoming some fans back into grounds were taken on Saturday as around 2,500 people were in attendance at Brighton's pre-season friendly game against Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.
Arsenal have now provided an update on their official website regarding their efforts to try and welcome fans back into the Emirates in the not too distant future. The Gunners explain that while their first home game of the 2020/21 Premier League season against West Ham will be played behind closed doors, they hope crowds will be allowed back on 3 October for the clash with Sheffield United on a reduced capacity basis.
Of course, the number of fans will be limited in order to adhere to UK government guidelines and the need to respect social distancing. The club further add that due to the high demand that is expected for tickets, gold season ticket holders and premium members will be given priority access.
While the Gunners don't provide a specific number with regards to the amount of fans they hope to be able to let in for the Sheffield United match, they note that they will look to welcome a greater number of fans as the season progresses.
As well as following social distancing guidelines, Arsenal also plan to introduce 'new hygiene measures' and 'intensive cleansing routines'.
The Gunners kicked off their 2020/21 season with a win on penalties in the Community Shield against Liverpool - which was played without fans. Mikel Arteta's men get their Premier League campaign underway when they travel to newly-promoted Fulham on 12 September before then welcoming West Ham to the Emirates eight days later.