Premier League BAN away fans from last two rounds of fixtures after break-in at Man Utd's Old Trafford

AWAY fans will NOT be able to attend the last two rounds of Prem games – after the Old Trafford pitch invasion forced a U-turn.

Prem clubs had been keen to ensure up to 500 visiting supporters were allowed into grounds in the last week of the season, as part of maximum 10,000 crowds.

But League chiefs were concerned that the Government, and local safety officers, might block the proposals in the wake of the violent incidents that saw Manchester United’s game with Liverpool postponed on Sunday.

And now the Prem has confirmed that, while fans are set to be allowed at the games between May 18 and May 23 – one in each of the 20 top flight stadiums – seats will be strictly sold to home fans only.

In a statement, the League cited “varying operational challenges across the League and the need to deliver a consistent approach”.

But SunSport revealed earlier this week that senior Prem figures were warning of the potential repercussions of the Old Trafford disorder.

There were genuine concerns that the Government, which has the final say on all post-Covid crowd attendances, would be minded to block the early return of away fans for fear of potential disorder.

In addition, interim permission from clubs' local Safety Advisory Groups had been couched on the understanding that capped capacities – of a maximum 10,000 fans or 25 per cent of normal attendance – would be for home supporters alone.

By deciding against letting away fans attend, those issues have now been sidelined.

Explaining the situation, a League spokesman said: “The Premier League today confirmed the final two match rounds of the 2020/21 season will be limited to home fans, subject to the Government easing lockdown restrictions.

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“Supporters are expected to be able to return to stadiums from 17 May in a reduced capacity, pending the final Government decision on planned Step 3 conditions, which will be announced no later than 10 May.

“The Premier League last week confirmed fixtures have been rescheduled to provide an opportunity for each club to host one home game with supporters before the end of the season.

“Match Round 37 will now be played on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 May with the final matches of the season kicking off at 4pm on Sunday 23 May, as planned.”

The Prem added: “Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the League and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance.

“The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance.

“Clubs have a proven track record of providing Covid-safe environments and have operational plans in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to their stadiums.

“Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021/22 season.”

Both the FA and Prem launched inquiries into Sunday’s scenes on Monday, with clubs, police, safety officers and even Stockley Park chiefs and match referee Michael Oliver delivering urgent bulletins.

Meanwhile, the Prem is expected to confirm the postponed game will be rescheduled to Sunday May 16, with Liverpool’s game at West Brom brought forward by four days to May 12.

That will ensure all 20 clubs have just two matches in the final week, one home and one away, but all in front of supporters.

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