This dang virus. Today, news dropped that London and the surrounding area will be downgraded from a Tier 2 to Tier 3 status on Wednesday due to rising coronavirus cases in England’s capital. That means that London-based clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, will no longer be allowed to have fans in stadiums for football matches until COVID prospects improve. Up until now, Spurs have been allowed 2000 supporters in the 64k Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but unless there’s a turnaround it now appears unlikely that there will be Tottenham fans in the South Stand for this weekend’s match against Leicester City.
I have to say, it has been nice having fans in stadiums, even if it has meant at times a renewed home pitch advantage compared to playing behind closed doors. Spurs have benefitted from that, but the flip side is also true as we saw in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace; the crowd at Selhurst Park was small, but particularly vociferous.
I’m all for safety with regards to COVID-19, and despite a vaccine now being deployed to front-line workers and the most vulnerable in the UK (much like it is in the United States) it’s going to take a while for herd immunity to kick in and numbers to go down. It’s a shame that London is now joining Manchester and other areas of the UK that will no longer be allowed to host fans for Premier League matches, but at least we know that there’s light at the end of this particular viral tunnel.