Morecambe manager looks forward to the return of fans

Derek Adams admits that everyone at Morecambe is missing playing matches in front of supporters.

Saturday, 21st November 2020, 8:00 am

The Shrimps’ players haven’t performed in front of fans since their defeat at Newport County AFC in early March.

That was the last weekend before the 2019/20 season was suspended and eventually curtailed for all clubs bar the Premier League, the Championship and those competing in the play-offs for League One and Two.

A number of test events with a reduced number of spectators were held towards the end of the summer ahead of a proposed return last month.

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Morecambe's matches have been played out against the backdrop of empty seats

However, a spike in Covid-19 cases subsequently led to that plan being put on hold.

In Morecambe’s case, it means their supporters have had to make do with watching their good start to the season online – but have also missed out on being able to see matches against Newcastle United and Manchester United’s U21s in person.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said on Thursday “there is definitely a chance” some supporters could be allowed into venues by Christmas in the lowest-risk areas.

Nevertheless, there remains little in the way of detail about how that would work in practice

“We’re all disappointed that supporters aren’t getting into stadiums but we’re in this lockdown period where the virus is getting worse,” Adams said.

“We all long for the day supporters get back into stadiums because we all miss the atmosphere from both sets of supporters.”

For good measure, the issue of the Premier League’s financial package for EFL clubs is still to be finalised.

The EFL had spoken of a “significant step forward” in announcing it was finalising negotiations over a £50m offer from the Premier League to clubs in the bottom two tiers, generally those hit hardest by the loss of spectator revenue.

However, it is understood the EFL has concerns over the fact £30m of the £50m rescue offer is comprised of loans.

As a result, Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee says his panel is losing patience over the time taken to reach an agreement.

He said: “We’re putting the current leaders of the Premier League and the EFL on notice.

“We want to be kept in the loop about every discussion, every meeting, every call, every email, to save clubs at risk.

“Nothing should be withheld from the committee, and so that fans can see what’s going on, we’ll make these updates public.”

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