Premier League left facing £100million loss each month without fans

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has warned the Premier League could lose £100million a month as long as fans are locked out.

Purslow says Villa Park’s 42,000-capacity would be reduced to just 4,000 under the current rules for social distancing.

He wants to see potential test events expanded from 1,000 fans to thousands of supporters who are let in after they have been tested for coronavirus.

Purslow said: "Every month we delay return of fans costs Premier League over £100m.

"That has profound impact on the football economy.

"The only thing you will learn from having 1,000 fans in a stadium in a football test event is that football clubs lose huge amounts of money when their stadiums are empty and that has a profound impact on the economy of football.

"The government have been in possession for over two months of a wide-ranging proposal for a set of test events that should have taken place in September, including what we thought of as a pioneering event in central London to try and move away from this social distancing limitation as the basis of which to determine how many fans can come in.

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"In our stadium if we applied the one metre plus metric only about 4,000 fans could come in to 42,000-seater Villa Park and anyone can see that's not viable.

"We are advocating a testing largely in line with rugby where a huge amount of accurate pre-testing is done of a known audience of fans before and after matches.

"That not only provides a safe environment but helps the government with a very large sample size.

“We were proposing 50 per cent in a large London stadium which would have been the biggest sample ever taken."

The new Premier League season kicks off on Saturday afternoon, though Villa wait until the following weekend to play due to their opening clash with Manchester City being postponed.

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