The background is deceptive in the featured image of Mateusz Klich celebrating his opening goal in Leeds United’s 5-0 swamping of an outgunned Stoke City side at Elland Road. As Patrick Bamford wheels to congratulate him, as Stuart Dallas comes in to add his congratulations, the eye is drawn to a packed Elland Road.
In truth, though, Elland Road has been empty since football returned at the end of June from its Covid-19 lockdown. What is packing Elland Road now is a sea of 15000+ crowdies fastened to chairs. They are silent, merely a background aesthetic; a veneer of normality.
However, should Leeds United be fortunate enough to gain promotion to the Premier League in their last three games, an article from the Daily Mail gives hope that the ‘crowdies’ with being replaced by a crowd to roar the Whites on in their first Premier League home game in what will be 16 years.
The Mail Online’s Sami Mokbel and Matt Hughes write that Premier League clubs “have told fans they expect the Government to allow them to attend matches next season.” They also continue by adding that consultation has already been started with supporter groups as to how best manage the logistics of this.
The Mail Online continues by noting that discussions between the Premier League and Government about stadiums partially reopening “are at an advanced stage” and state that word from the Government “will come very soon.”
The partial reopening of stadiums is set to begin at a reported 25% according to the Mail Online from a memo that they have seen. This could mean that, after a summer drought of empty terraces, Elland Road could be bouncing to the raucous noise of around 10,000 Whites fans.