Arsenal fans Emirates Stadium 2019-20Getty Images

Arsenal plan to allow fans back to Emirates Stadium in October

Arsenal are hoping to allow fans back into Emirates Stadium in October.

Supporters have not been allowed inside English grounds since football was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The season was eventually restarted in June and the domestic calendar was played to a completion behind closed doors, with clubs only allowed to have a specified number of people inside stadiums, including staff, media and security.

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But talks have been ongoing with the Government over how supporters will be allowed in for the 2020-21 Premier League season, which is due to get underway on September 12 with Arsenal travelling to newly promoted Fulham on the opening weekend.

And following those discussions, the club has identified the home game against Sheffield United on October 3 as a match when fans could be able to attend, albeit in numbers well below the Emirates’ full capacity of 60,000.

In an email sent to supporters, Arsenal said: “We are continuing to work hard with the Premier League and UK Government on plans to bring fans back to stadiums, initially with reduced capacities.

“We are disappointed that our home fixture against West Ham United on Saturday 19 September will be played behind closed doors, but based on current Government guidelines, we hope to be able to welcome supporters back to Emirates Stadium for the Sheffield United game scheduled for Saturday 3 October.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2019-20Getty Images

“We will share full information regarding fan attendance at reduced capacity matches by Wednesday 2 September.”

Getting fans back inside the Emirates is key to Arsenal, with 24 per cent of the club’s annual revenue usually being generated from matchday earnings.

The loss of matchday revenue and the knock-on effect that has had on commercial and broadcast revenue has contributed to the recent proposal of 55 redundancies across various departments at the club.

When announcing the proposed redundancies earlier this month, a statement released by managing director Vinai Venkatesham and former head of football Raul Sanllehi said: “We do not make these proposals lightly and have looked at every aspect of the club and our expenditure before reaching this point.

“We know this is upsetting and difficult for our dedicated staff and our focus is on managing this as sensitively as possible.

“These proposed changes are ultimately about ensuring we take this great football club forward, creating the right organisation for a post-Covid world, and ensuring we have the resources to return to competing effectively at the top of the game here and in Europe.”