Boris Johnson has announced this morning that the entire North-East will be placed in tier 3 when the national lockdown ends on December 2nd – a move that will block the return of football fans to St James’ Park.
The PM stated earlier this week that plans had finally been put into place for supporters to return to stadiums next month.
That said, this plan was based around 4,000 fans being allowed into stadiums based in tier 1 regions and 2,000 in at tier 2 locations, with any area in tier 3 unable to have any supporters in attendance.
Given the North-East woke up to the disappointing news this morning that we’ll be in tier 3 from next Wednesday onwards, any early return to St James’ Park has been postponed until further notice.
The likes of Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds join us in tier 3, while Liverpool and London have been placed in tier 2 – meaning the latter will be able to have up to 2,000 fans inside stadiums next weekend.
Not the early Christmas present some fans were hoping for, however I’m sure we’ll all agree that the ramifications of tier 3 stretch much further than a few fans being able to attend a game of Bruce-ball at St James’ Park, with jobs at risk, local businesses crippled, mental health concerns spiralling and families separated during these testing times.