Some football matches in the English Football League started to get back to reality a little on Saturday afternoon as fans were able to make their long-awaited return to the stadiums they used to be able to attend each and every week.
Seven EFL games across all Football League divisions (Championship, League One and League Two) were used as the government decided to trial what games would be like with 1,000 fans being in attendance.
Indeed, it provided fans of the seven home teams – as home fans were the only ones permitted to watch the action – a return to some reality for the first time since March in regards to watching their football club in person.
However, things on the pitch may not have neccessarily impressed the supporters in attendance, though, as many may have been better off taking a look at all the latest esport action happening from the comfort of their homes. eSports are extremely popular amongst fans and bettors, and for those new to the concept, there are a great number of resources to get infos about esport betting.
Of the seven games, only two of those matches saw the hosts win. League One Blackpool Town defeated Swindon Town 2-0, whereas League Two outfit Carlisle United defeated Southend Town by the same scoreline.
The other matches that allowed 1,000 fans into the stadiums included Norwich City vs Preston North End (which ended in a 2-2 draw), whilst Charlton Athletic lost to Doncaster Rovers (1-3), Shrewsbury Town were defeated by Northampton Town (1-2) whilst Forest Green Rovers picked up a late 2-2 draw with Bradford City in League Two.
As mentioned, the EFL games to have fans in attendance were the first to have featured any supporters since March because of the current global pandemic. However, there is some hope amongst the league officials within the EFL that supporters will be able to return to matches in larger numbers from October.
EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week.
“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but social distancing can be applied safely.
“By extending across more EFL clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.”