Arsenal to be among first clubs in England to welcome fans back to the stadium

Arsenal fans celebrate win

Arsenal will be among the first football clubs whose fans will be allowed to return to stadiums for matches next week, but Manchester United will miss out, following the announcement of a new regional tier system today.

Liverpool will also be in the first wave of top tier matches allowed to admit spectators.

Football and other elite sports, including rugby and horse racing, are now scrambling to be ready to welcome spectators, which will be the first time for many since the coronavirus pandemic swept Britain and forced the first national locdown in March.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed in the House of Commons which tier each area of England has been placed in as part of the new regional restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, which come into force on Wednesday December 2.

The government had already said that elite sports events would be allowed to admit spectators for the first time in more than eight months, if they are in areas where infection rates are low.

Under the rules, which come into force following the end of the latest period of national lockdown, events in tier one areas will be allowed up to 4,000 fans, in tier two it will be up to 2,000, but no supporters will be allowed at events in tier three.

The FIVE Premier League matches that will be allowed to host 2,000 fans on the weekend of December 5 and 6 are:

Tottenham v Arsenal

Liverpool v Wolves

Chelsea v Leeds

West Ham v Man United

Brighton v Southampton