West Brom fans will be unable to return to The Hawthorns when the November lockdown ends with the areas around the stadium placed in new tier three restrictions.
There were hopes that the return of fans to stadiums could occur sooner than expected after the government announced that limited fans could return in low-risk areas when the current lockdown ends.
The Atheltic’s Steve Madeley reported on his personal Twitter account that, “All of the West Midlands metropolitan boroughs in tier 3 of restrictions from next Wednesday, so still no fans in stadia around here.”
As expected, all of the West Midlands metropolitan boroughs in tier 3 of restrictions from next Wednesday, so still no fans in stadia around here. #WBA
— Steve Madeley (@SteveMadeley78) November 26, 2020
The BBC reported earlier this week that 4,000 fans would be able to watch outdoor sporting events in low-risk areas and while that isn’t a huge number, roughly 14% of The Hawthorns’ capacity, it would’ve been a huge morale boost to the club and Baggies fans.
If the areas surrounding The Hawthorns drop into tier two over the next few weeks then it does mean that 2,000 fans would be allowed to attend Albion games so a return may not be that far off.
But that all depends on the rate of COVID cases in the area and that is something that has proved very hard to predict in recent months.
A different issue now arises as several Premier League clubs will be allowed to have fans in their stadiums as they are placed in tier two restrictions.
London and Liverpool have been placed in tier two which means Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and the other London clubs will be allowed to have limited numbers of home fans attending games.
This gives these clubs an advantage in the Premier League as they will have home support whereas clubs like West Brom will still have to play behind closed doors.
Of all the clubs that don’t need an advantage, Liverpool and Chelsea look to have benefitted the most from the announcement regarding the new tier systems.
The wait goes on for Baggies fans as The Hawthorns remains empty, we can only hope that COVID cases drop quickly and fans can return as soon as possible to support their team in crucial games.
In other West Brom news, stats show that one of Albion’s summer signings is proving to be a poor buy.