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Man Utd plans to welcome 12,000 fans into Old Trafford for Crystal Palace clash in doubt after new lockdown measures

MANCHESTER UNITED have been dealt a huge blow in their hope of allowing 12,000 fans into Old Trafford for their league game against Crystal Palace.

According to The Athletic, United were due to meet authorities on Thursday to discuss the possibility of the trial run for the match on September 19.

If the test run was successful and did not pose any security risks, United were going to aim to increase the capacity in the following matches.

Clubs were due to let in a quarter of their stadium’s capacity from October 1 under plans to socially distance fans. 

But Downing Street has put the plans on hold after government scientists deemed the prevalence of the virus was too high to let fans back so soon. 

Some of the current sporting events that are carrying out pilots for the return of fans will still go ahead – such as horse racing, cricket and some football games. 

However crowds for the pilot games will be capped at 1,000, Boris Johnson announced today.

The move delivers a major blow for millions of fans ahead of the start of the 2020/21 football season, which starts this weekend.

The club want fans back in the stadium as soon as possible and a huge amount of work has gone into provisions to make fans safe.

After the match against Palace, United face Spurs and were keen to have the number boosted in time for that clash.

Regarding the issue, a statement from United said: “We are working with the Premier League, DCMS, SGSA and the local authorities on planning a safe return of fans to matches at Old Trafford as soon as it is permitted.”

Now those hopes have taken a major setback after the PM’s announcement.

Mr Johnson said the Government will “revise plans to pilot larger audiences later this month” and they will review intention to allow audiences back to stadiums.

However he stressed “it doesn’t mean we will scrap it entirely”, promising more information soon.

Crystal Palace hope to allow between 4,000 and 5,000 fans into their matches from October 1.

The Red Devils have lost out on £4million per game through match-day revenue since fans have been locked out.

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