With the second national lockdown for Coronavirus coming to an end next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signalled that small numbers of fans are to be allowed back into venues for elite sports in the UK.
New coronavirus regulations will come into force after 2 December allowing certain numbers of supporters to attend games in areas with Tier 1 (medium risk) and Tier 2 (high risk) restrictions in place.
Top-flight stadiums will welcome back 4,000 fans in Tier 1 areas, while 2,000 fans can attend if the stadium is in a Tier 2 region, with everyone present to be socially-distanced in the stands.
But games will continue to be played behind closed doors in Tier 3 (very high risk) zones, where the tightest restrictions are in force. New tiers will be announced on Thursday.
With Liverpool still one of the hardest-hit areas and expected to be back into Tier 3 when the lockdown ends, Goodison Park will likely be one of the many stadiums in the northwest where Premier League games will continue behind closed doors. Everton have a ticket ballot system planned for when they get the green light should fans be allowed to return under new Government tier scheme.
If the announcement on Thursday puts the Liverpool City Region in Tier 2, that could allow up to 2,000 supporters back into Goodison Park in time for Everton's match against Chelsea on 12 December.
Back in September, the club sent out an email to season ticket holders regarding a "fair and equitable" ballot system that will be in place when spectators are allowed back into Goodison Park.
That system is ready to be moulded to whatever capacity Everton are told they will be permitted, with the club understood to be working towards getting as many fans into the stadium as they are allowed by safety regulations.
Reader Comments (83)
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1 Posted 23/11/2020 at 15:24:49
That season-ticket draw will be like Christmas come early!
3 Posted 23/11/2020 at 21:35:43
I assume the club will welcome those back that live in the local areas and over time, as restrictions are lifted, they'll be able to widen the scope for those that have to travel from different parts of the country.
4 Posted 23/11/2020 at 21:35:46
5 Posted 23/11/2020 at 21:39:49
6 Posted 23/11/2020 at 21:40:18
7 Posted 23/11/2020 at 21:48:02
I don't see why this can't be managed sensibly. Even 50% capacity in an outdoor setting can work. My local high street looks no different than pre-lockdown right now, so why that can't transpire to an organised and policed sport event is beyond me.
8 Posted 23/11/2020 at 22:44:46
This is not about opening society but hospital capacity. It's winter and hospitals are full usually anyway. Patients with surgical needs. Then comes patients with respiratory system needs. Then add to the mix covid patients some needing intensive care or intense hospital treatment.
Sorry but we are not ready for fans at any stadiums. Doctors and ambulance crews at grounds is a wasted resource. I want normality more than the next person but we must do this slowly. I don't want 3 steps forward and 5 back. I want businesses to open, survive, and workers in jobs first, but slowly. The premier league needs to support lower league clubs.
In countries we respect for their organisation and anticipation to this crisis are struggling now. Let's go slowly. By march the vaccine will hopefully be rolled out. If we choose to go all out then it will be more tears and not tiers being our main concern.
It's a wait and see moment again.
9 Posted 23/11/2020 at 22:53:14
If areas with over 200 cases per 100k population are put in Tier 3, no fans will be allowed into stadiums in Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Burnley, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Leicester. That would be half the Premier League unable to host games with any fans present.
10 Posted 23/11/2020 at 23:47:55
Other than 330 poor souls, everyone who has died of Covid-19 in this country has been of retirement age or with a serious underlying problem. So that's what? 5 million people to prioritise.
Well, was it Slovakia who tested three million of its citizens over the course of a couple of days? This could and should be sorted by the end of the year in a sane world. It won't be like. We'll still be pissing around late summer.
11 Posted 24/11/2020 at 00:07:33
Another confusing contradiction from a shambles of a government this evening. Does anyone believe a thing that comes out of his mouth?
I won't be going back until next season. 4,000 doesn't benefit anyone at Premier League level.
12 Posted 24/11/2020 at 01:02:00
Mark this day down, if you have a ticket stub and / or programme, keep them, they may become collector's items. If you went to that game, treasure it, get a copy of it on DVD. Because you were there for the very last game there was a full house at Goodison Park.
There will never be another. Never again will anybody sit 20 inches behind you, coughing on your head. Grounds will be Covid Regulated, each stand area will have a maximum capacity certificate, like a lift.
Masks will be worn, here, here and here, but not there, there or there. We'll all – those of us lucky enough to be allowed in – spend our time doing the mask on, mask off, hokey-cokey.
If Bramley-Moore Dock ever gets built, we'll never have the angst about 52,000 seats not being enough... they may even waste money putting them all in, but they'll never all be filled.
And, in the manner of prices being marked in New Pence then eventually just pence or even 'p', the New Covid Normal will become, the new normal, then just plain old normal.
Reports of the match will state... "A sell-out crowd of 39,000 at The USM Stadium saw... blah blah".
And we'll still be just a couple of players short of a top 4 spot.
13 Posted 24/11/2020 at 01:09:24
14 Posted 24/11/2020 at 07:06:08
Still, seriously better than nothing, but a bit frustrating for those who have shelled out on a Season Ticket and may ostensibly only see one or no games!
15 Posted 24/11/2020 at 07:06:16
I was happy with Iwobi's display on Sunday. I never expected him to start, having played 120 minutes for Nigeria in just 5 days.
Let him keep it up and raise his game, cross the ball well, and stop shooting off target in the final 3rd of the field.
16 Posted 24/11/2020 at 08:01:20
17 Posted 24/11/2020 at 09:17:21
18 Posted 24/11/2020 at 09:43:58
19 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:03:29
20 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:04:45
Visiting various threads to vent your spleen mate?
21 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:10:46
4,000 in a 75,000 capacity stadium (like Salford have) is a different risk to 4,000 in a 20,000 capacity.
What happens if we go to a 4th division club in the cup with a capacity of about 4,000? Will it be packed to the rafters and everyone sat on everyone else?
It would have made more sense to put a percentage of capacity regulation out there, ie, 25% in Tier 1, 10% in Tier 2.
I suppose that would be far too much like common sense for a government that encouraged open air exercise but banned golf completely.
22 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:21:23
Sounds like a sensible start to me.
23 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:24:11
I only heard the headline figures, missed the detail.
Still seems harsh on the bigger stadiums, particularly those well out of the way in less residential areas. But it is a start.
24 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:26:40
Get real; nobody knows exactly what to do and even scientists are prone to disagree.
25 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:35:45
26 Posted 24/11/2020 at 10:35:52
27 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:04:43
On another point, are we going to have more people pitch side than in the top part of the main stand because pitch side is Tier 1 and the top is Tier 3?
28 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:19:25
I would keep everyone out over these winter months. Likely to be lockdowns again in January after the Christmas relaxation that everyone is expecting unless these vaccines are risked before thorough regulation takes place.
29 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:20:57
You need a new script writer mate🤦🏻♂️
30 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:42:12
Although, with the number of season ticket holders, I've more chance of Trump leaving graciously.
31 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:47:39
32 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:51:03
33 Posted 24/11/2020 at 11:55:45
Apologies if I have touched a nerve regarding the current government.
It is a once-in-100-year pandemic that nobody was really prepared for.
I am no expert on infectious diseases but I do have an opinion on how things have been managed.
Unless I am totally ignorant of the facts, people encouraged to go to the match in their 1,000s isn't going to help stop the spread of Covid-19... but what do I know?
34 Posted 24/11/2020 at 12:29:22
Even if they were to allow 4,000 in for the rest of this season, it's just never going to feel the same, is it?
For me, going the game should be about camaraderie and being able to savour electric atmospheres in big games, not be sitting like I'm in a quarantine compound and people being afraid to cough, sneeze or splutter.
I think it will be a good year or more under proven progress of this vaccine before I'd really want to go back to the game again and hopefully eventually life can just get back to normal within this next 2 years.
35 Posted 24/11/2020 at 12:41:56
Firstly, there are substantial issues with government decisions, and underlying issues about the makeup of the SAGE committee and the quality of advice to COBR. Such issues have been raised through formal channels, and improvements are needed.
Secondly, the behaviour of the football world, including many fans, has been irresponsible, and the issues mentioned above are relevant to the government letting things happen that should never have happened if a sensible precautionary approach had been taken at the start of the year. The Champions League match at Anfield on 11th March is an example, together with the childish eagerness to complete last seasons matches which led to the inevitable gathering of crowds in Liverpool.
The sensible and adult approach is not to have ANY crowds until COVID is established as being under control. This eagerness to get back into grounds is such that people really need to get a grip on reality.
36 Posted 24/11/2020 at 12:46:18
37 Posted 24/11/2020 at 12:47:53
Unfortunately, many won't; each to their own.
38 Posted 24/11/2020 at 12:58:12
Even in season 2021-22, as Goodison is so cramped with old seats and facilities anyway, I'm not sure even anything close to 20k is plausible.
39 Posted 24/11/2020 at 13:00:43
So, rather than have a ballot to let 2,000 to 4,000 that have not had the vacine, why not hold off until end of January? Have so many season ticket holders who have had the vaccine, and who came out of the ballot, allowed back in; then the next lot, until we are close to having 30,000, rather than rush people back in too soon.
Does not make any logical sense allowing fans back in too soon.
40 Posted 24/11/2020 at 13:02:12
But you just know that, when the tier system is unveiled on Thursday, there will be lots of clubs in Tier 3, which aren't allowed any fans, who will all protest that they are being unfairly punished as all will claim that, despite the infection rate in their area, they should be allowed to let fans into their grounds.
Me personally being of a certain age, I will wait till I am vaccinated before I go back inside Goodison Park but, for those who are happy to attend games, then good luck.
I just wonder whether the small numbers that will be allowed into Premier League grounds will be worth all the hassle for Premier League clubs to sort. You can imagine: 25,000 season ticket holders – Who gets priority? And at 2,000 per game, it would be 12 home games just to pacify those season ticket holders.
41 Posted 24/11/2020 at 13:35:13
I wish I could believe your estimated timeline was right, mate, but I really can't see the vaccine being widely available to all until mid-2021 at the earliest; this just from what I've gleaned seeing the reports etc. Hope I'm wrong and you're right though, mate.
42 Posted 24/11/2020 at 13:42:53
43 Posted 24/11/2020 at 14:20:41
London's rates have gone up and, even though not having been in Tier 3, they reckon London will go on Tier 2 after the lockdown, while the North West could be on a Tier 3.
How can they work that out?
It's going to be a shambles, allowing fans back in, so soon after the lockdown ends.
44 Posted 24/11/2020 at 15:18:40
With a personal space bubble of around 7 or 8 square yards, and with the head of the nearest fellow spectator being more than the current 1 metre social distance away from mine, I'd personally feel comfortable and risk free, mask or no mask (though the matter of getting past others if needing to leave your seat during play is something that would need attention).
On a related issue, the suggestion by Brian (39) that tickets be given only to those who've been vaccinated fills me with horror -- what a slippery slope that would send this country down (as if we haven't started our descent down that particular frightening slope already).
(One other thing, Brian: however much I'd like a ticket, there's absolutely no way I'm going to don a pair of tights and dance on my tiptoes for one!)
45 Posted 24/11/2020 at 15:18:46
"The ballot will ONLY be open to Season Ticket and Hospitality Members, with the aim of keeping family and friend groups together where possible.
"Fans will have to ‘opt-in' for the ballot. Full details for the ballot process will be shared on evertonfc.com and via email to fans following the Government's tier announcement on Thursday."
The Blues added: "The Club's objective is to enable as many fans as possible to attend games, whilst prioritising the health and safety of fans and staff.
"To support this process - and to help ensure Season Ticket Members can attend matches with friends and family – the Club is asking all fans to check their personal details and contact information stored with the Club.
"It is important this information is up to date, as it will ensure the ballot process and distribution of tickets runs smoothly."
46 Posted 24/11/2020 at 15:22:34
We've been down this route with that lot before, haven't we?
47 Posted 24/11/2020 at 15:33:32
I hate to say it but surely we must look at other countries and learn. There are no easy solutions but we must all look out for each other. This is a war with no bombs dropping. A virus with no symptoms at times. No-one wants to see a fellow human being gasping for breath, alone in a hospital bed, pleading for life itself.
Only one army can protect us from this virus – that is the human one. It's not about liberty but looking out and protecting your fellow man, woman, or child. Let's do the right thing.
Take care all.
48 Posted 24/11/2020 at 16:08:39
I'm sure you mean a certain group of football fans and not all but I – being a season ticket holder and someone that is knowledgeable on the dangers of Covid-19 – shouldn't be penalised due to the actions of a few.
I believe the majority of the 4,000 will be sensible, follow the rules and won't put themselves or others at risk. I would certainly feel safer sat yards from anyone else in the open air rather than sat with 2,000+ people in an enclosed theatre, two seats away from the next person.
And as for getting in and out of the ground, the transmission of the virus generally occurs in close proximity for a length of time. It will less risk than walking up and down the aisles in Tesco.
Of course it won't the same, but it goes someway to normality.
49 Posted 24/11/2020 at 16:53:34
I'm resident in a country that has had a fantastically disciplined lockdown that required me to apply for a permit with my passport, ID, from/to, date/time, purpose... yes, for a 10-minute trip for groceries, in limited hours, a fully enforced curfew and national disinfection process...
Guess what? Covid didn't care what party or political system we had, the general statistics are the same here as they are in most countries at one time or other, despite massively different responses – and that's before you actually analyse real data.
People need to engage brain and use common sense. Some people, elderly/sick will be more at risk. That's life, deal with it; which is why my dear 73-year-old old man won't be using my season ticket – regardless of qualifying for a ticket.
As for mass vaccinations, anyone under the age of 60 with no underlying health conditions must be insane to take a jab.
50 Posted 24/11/2020 at 18:20:58
51 Posted 24/11/2020 at 18:40:54
I appreciate that the government is desperate to get fans “onboard” but this is not the right approach. They should wait until the return of fans can be managed fairly across all areas. If that means no fans at all this season, then so be it.
They need to concentrate on getting the R levels down further, get the vaccine underway and monitor results. Maybe if they manage to do a half-decent job, we will see near full stadiums come next season. To do otherwise will simply put the whole thing back again and piss everyone off even more, which in itself increases the risks.
52 Posted 24/11/2020 at 19:15:27
53 Posted 24/11/2020 at 19:32:06
54 Posted 24/11/2020 at 19:36:19
55 Posted 24/11/2020 at 19:37:19
56 Posted 24/11/2020 at 19:53:20
Won't work in our favour anyway. It's no surprise that we've had the best start for over 100 years without any fans at the game – (unfairly) getting on our players backs.
57 Posted 24/11/2020 at 20:16:25
58 Posted 24/11/2020 at 20:36:00
59 Posted 24/11/2020 at 21:02:29
Why would anyone under 60 be mad to get vaccinated?
60 Posted 24/11/2020 at 21:21:02
61 Posted 24/11/2020 at 21:38:56
62 Posted 24/11/2020 at 21:47:27
This issue has become way too politicised because the politicians and us mortals allowed the media to take over the debate and scaremonger. They no longer report news, they convey an agenda.
Since when did politicians of any political persuasion ever become defeaters of Mother Nature? Regardless of who you voted for in the last General Elections, no leader does much different hence the similar patterns across the globe in this global pandemic.
If we are going to wait for a vaccine to "eradicate" this, then good luck with that. I can't think of many vaccines that have done so in the history of medical science; not completely.
We do what humankind has done over the centuries. We learn to live with it. Sad but true. And in terms of vaccine. Protect the vulnerable first then work down. In simplistic terms, if we protect the old, sick and vulnerable, it matters not that young people with no effects or symptoms spread it because they won't spread it to those who will suffer if they catch it as they are vaccinated.
We are confusing spread with criticality.
63 Posted 24/11/2020 at 21:57:48
64 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:00:29
I'm with you on this. Vaccinate like they do the flu. Give it to the old and vulnerable and those with underlying conditions and let the world crack on. If your not in those categories and want a jab, then you buy it, as with the flu.
65 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:05:08
Why do you find it ridiculous that Evertonians want to watch Everton at Goodison? Did you watch Everton at Goodison regularly? I suppose you must have to hear all the unfair stick they were getting.
Like someone else said (Rennie), I think: You take the same risks going to a Tesco or Asda supermarket on a Saturday afternoon.
One thing no-one has suggested is letting only under 30s in to begin with? I think this age group, whilst not suffering with the virus stastisticaly the most, have consequently lost the most by way of education, exam results, social experiences, ie, travelling, nightclubs, music festivals, bars, restaurants, spectator sports. I also believe they make up the biggest demographic of staff who have put up with everyone's shit since this virus started.
Think of the chaos in the supermarkets at the beginning? Your average minimum wage zero hours contract kid was taking all that stress daily.
I think, besides the embarrassment of the LFC celebrations, the under-30s as a rule have conducted themselves remarkably considering what they have missed out on. I don't think my generation would have taken it so diplomatically.
Maybe this is an opportunity to reward and thank our young blues for their loyalty and give them something to look forward to?
Just a thought.
66 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:15:49
They have given up more than most to protect a very narrow sector of the population in comparison to other diseases when it doesn't really impact them at all.
I say that as a 49-year-old who lost his mother aged 59 and father aged 63, 13 and 14 years ago, in quick succession, respectively. Both from cancer. A disease that kills at least 450 people a day in the UK and accounts for approximately 25% of deaths annually. Not the between 1 and 4 % Covid accounts for and one that knows no age group.
Excuse my rawness, but my parents received no emotional media coverage.
67 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:19:41
Is the Goodison crowd demanding? – damn right it is! Are there pockets of moaning minnies? – of course, there are.
How come the likes of Sir Alex and many others viewed a visit to Goodison as one of the most intimidating places for their teams to play – if, like this myth suggests, the fans are all about doing Everton down and making the players underperform?
68 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:25:40
Top flight football is sadly surviving without the fans right now as they make their money from the cameras. That won't last forever or for long. Football without the fans and the atmosphere that a frenzied crowd generates is not football in the long term.
69 Posted 24/11/2020 at 22:47:09
No need to apologise, I'm 51 and I have lost half of what you have lost.
I meant to say in my first post, how come we were so awful at the end of last season then without a crowd to jeer at us?
You are right, I think Evertonians are a fantastic knowledgeable and forgiving crowd. I have very rarely heard them collectively boo a player, I've never done this myself as I consider it embarrassing, like the pantomime!!
Schneiderlen was the last and he friggin' deserved it for being an absolute coward on the pitch.
70 Posted 24/11/2020 at 23:06:50
Only if over-65s themselves choose not to opt-in to the ballot.
72 Posted 24/11/2020 at 00:07:17
The pandemic has always been about resources. The NHS, God bless it, has always run on tight margins – especially bed capacity. The biggest challenge facing the health service in March was not knowing how many patients would require treatment? How do you plan for the unknown? How do you treat a disease no-one knows about?
The facts are hospitals are behind on elective surgery naturally. Most resources went to saving lives/emergency, and cancer treatments. Now hospitals want to carry on with elective, emergency and treating covid patients on a daily basis. Resources are the issue and the number of patients needing treatment for Covid-19. Lockdowns ease the spread so hospitals don't run out of bed capacity. Not the long-term solution by any means.
What history tells us is the 2nd wave of infection can be more deadly than the first. It's not about which generation tolerates it more. Last generation to experience a pandemic? The vaccine is going to help reduce the need for hospital admissions and save lives. This allows some sort of normality. It's not the silver bullet but as close as we are going to get. Also, doctors and scientists are learning every day about treating Covid patients.
I want normal but this may be at least 2 years away. However, small steps and we can get there gradually.
73 Posted 25/11/2020 at 00:32:15
I don't really follow this. Once the over 60s and the vulnerable are vaccinated, why would you say we cannot return to the old normal at that point?
74 Posted 25/11/2020 at 01:12:10
We can return to an old normal but it may take a further year to vaccinate all those required. I'm not anticipating the vaccine be given yet.
From last March to March 2022 will be two years. I would think the tier system will be in place for at least a further year as results of the vaccine and rates of infection are known. It's all about how long in time the vaccine can be given to millions of people.
I believe in two years from a start of a pandemic to vaccinating millions and millions of people would be a great achievement.
75 Posted 25/11/2020 at 02:03:41
You are quite a positive soul but have a strange understanding of numbers and so on. I think you are way off with your suggestions.
I think we will be back to some sort of normal in the spring.
76 Posted 25/11/2020 at 03:36:26
And the funny nose, glasses and moustache or a scarf over the mouth will not suffice as a mask.
Oh, and please ensure that you go before leaving the house.
77 Posted 25/11/2020 at 10:11:29
78 Posted 25/11/2020 at 10:43:15
But yes, they have certainly had it tough.
79 Posted 25/11/2020 at 11:40:37
80 Posted 25/11/2020 at 13:48:09
81 Posted 25/11/2020 at 16:18:36
82 Posted 25/11/2020 at 17:18:27
Andrew #49, you might want to read up on COVID "long haulers"... it might change your mind about younger people getting vaccinated. This virus is doing permanent damage to healthy young people.
Ian Riley, good posts, no apology necessary for your persistence.
Danny #62, I'd cite smallpox, polio, diphtheria, mumps, tetanus, measles and rubella as examples of diseases eradicated, or virtually eradicated, by vaccines. COVID won't be eradicated because it "morphs" but the pandemic can, and will, be stopped.
83 Posted 25/11/2020 at 18:03:23
Covid will not be eradicated because it's in the same family as Mers, Sars, influenza that have never been eradicated and cannot be compared to the virus and bacteria you refer to.
We have similar infection rates to Europe per capita; however, bars and restaurants and sports facilities are open, no tiers. We're checking body temperatures constantly – we had PCR and track and trace in June which has since been scaled back but is available. I do not believe the UK is any more unsafe, but we at least are policing it and people are accepting and engaging in the process. That requires discipline, not cheap political shots fired across Europe and the Americas.
Funniest thing I saw about Covid was the ‘meme' with a US Network reporter asking someone in the Amish community if he was not concerned about Covid, when told no he asked why... “We don't have TV”. Go figure!
84 Posted 25/11/2020 at 22:57:22
86 Posted 26/11/2020 at 12:35:22
So who's going in the ballot for the Chelsea game on the 12th?
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