Football fans will watch their teams in the flesh for the first time since March on August 30, when Wembley is set to host the Community Shield.
Premier League champions Liverpool and the victorious FA Cup finalists from Arsenal or Chelsea will see their supporters return first, with the season curtain-raiser set to be used as a test event for the following 2020-21 campaign.
The FA see the Community Shield as the perfect test opportunity to accelerate the return of fans, with the governing body poised to confirm the August 30 date, according to the Telegraph.
No Premier League games have featured fans since Leicester’s 4-0 thumping of Aston Villa on March 9, with matches taking place in eerie silence since the coronavirus lockdown.
The English top-flight is determined to bring fans back for the start of the next campaign, hoping to bring forward the Government’s planned return on October 1.
Next season’s calendar will begin taking shape on Friday, with all Premier League clubs set for a virtual meeting to discuss and vote on the kick-off date, with September 12 set to be confirmed.
The rules for fans’ return are still unclear, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport still in discussions over protocols – as clubs hope to have stadiums 50 per cent full to appease season ticket holders.
Many clubs, including the likes of Arsenal, rely heavily on match-day revenue and will be desperate to have fans flooding through the turnstiles as soon as possible.