By Daniel Davis For Mailonline
Published: 09:48 BST, 19 September 2020 | Updated: 09:59 BST, 19 September 2020
Premier League clubs believe they can provide supporters with a safer environment in grounds in comparison to watching games in pubs and bars, Brighton CEO Paul Barber has claimed.
The top flight released a statement on Thursday which reiterated their desire for fans to finally return to stadia from October 1 - although a recent rise in coronavirus infections across the country may see their hopes scuppered.
With the government reintroducing certain restrictions, clubs now fear that games may have to continue behind closed doors until November. Barber, however, stressed that fans should be reintroduced into grounds - alongside the appropriate safety measures - as soon as possible to help sustain football at every level.
Paul Barber says Premier League clubs can provide a safe environment for fans in grounds
The Brighton CEO (above) believes supporters should return soon to help keep football afloat
'The message is we want to see fans back in our stadiums as soon as possible,' he told beIN Sports. 'We believe we can create a safe environment that's arguably safer than watching in their own living rooms and bars and pubs up and down the country.
'It's not only important to clubs at the Premier League level, but it's vitally important to clubs all the way through the football pyramid, arguably more so further down the pyramid.
'The reality is that match-day income from fans attending games is just as important to us [Premier League clubs] than for clubs outside of the Premier League and it's particularly important when we are expected to support our colleagues further down the pyramid.
But top flight clubs now fear they may not be able to re-open their grounds until November
The new season began behind closed doors this month amid a rise in Covid-19 infectionssonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa