Frank Lampard has said Premier League clubs should not have to stop allowing fans into stadiums if their regions are placed under tougher Covid-19 restrictions.
Although Chelsea were allowed to welcome 2,000 supporters into Stamford Bridge for games against Leeds and Krasnodar this month, they will return to playing behind closed doors if London moves from tier 2 to tier 3 this week. The capital is likely be moved into tier 3 in order to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases, which would leave Chelsea playing in an empty stadium when they host West Ham next week.
However Lampard, who said it will be hard for players to revert to playing without crowds, feels that clubs have shown they can create a secure environment for the public. Chelsea’s manager expressed frustration with the tier system and argued that teams in tier 3 are at a disadvantage to those in tier 2.
“I’m slightly disappointed,” Lampard said. “Even though we’ve been in tier 2 and had fans in for a couple of games, I did feel that it should have been a level playing field with fans if some clubs can have them and some can’t.
“We’ve seen already and felt it, the backing that they give you and what it does to the game and I think that should be pretty level. I also think we can control 2,000 fans coming into a stadium if they are coming from within a tier or whatever to keep things moving along. So it’s unfortunate to say the least.
“Let’s get it right, we are making it up as we go along because we’ve never been in this position before. And I think when you are talking about if clubs can control the situation, then I think that they’ve shown so far that they can. I would like to have thought that something could be done to make it exempt where we can get that 2,000 number in. But that goes above my station, I’m just saying what I think.”
Chelsea will look to bounce back from their defeat against Everton on Saturday when they visit Wolves on Tuesday. They could be boosted by the return of Christian Pulisic, who is in the squad after shaking off a hamstring problem.