Premier clubs warned that stadiums may not be full for 18 months

Premier League clubs may wait for up to 18 months before their stadiums can host capacity crowds again. The top-flight could return behind closed doors in June, but an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atalanta, Zach Binney, has insisted that a coronavirus vaccine must be found before clubs can resume selling out their grounds again.

Regardless of encouraging signs of the spread of the pandemic being reduced due to the UK government’s lockdown enforcement, Binney says there is still a risk of a very significant happening when big crowds gather in stadiums.

He told The Times: “The thing that people need to understand, epidemiologically speaking, is that every person you add to a gathering adds risk.

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“Five people is more dangerous than two, ten is more dangerous than five, 500 is more dangerous than ten, 60,000 is very, very dangerous.

“Even if you have really low community-based transmission, it only takes a few people in that crowd of 60,000 for there to be a risk of something very significant happening.

“As a scientist, I hate to say I am ever 100 per cent sure about anything but I am as close to 100 per cent as I’ve ever been that we cannot return to filled-to-capacity stadia until we have a vaccine. Period.

“The best guess is about 18 months, could be a little more, could be a little less.”

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