Old Trafford modified to accommodate 23,500 socially-distanced fans

Manchester United’s chief operating officer says banning fans from stadiums ‘bemusing’

Manchester United have modified Old Trafford to accommodate 23,500 socially-distanced spectators, the Premier League club have said.

United's chief operating officer Collette Roche is convinced fans could safely attend games in person and says the ongoing ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic is "bemusing".

Roche told Sky Sports News: “It’s quite bemusing to understand why people can gather in other settings such as on an aeroplane or in a restaurant, or even in a cinema to watch football, when we know we’ve got the plans and the process is ready to deliver a match day here safely.

“We spent around two months working with the government guidelines to develop the right processes and measures to make sure that we can have around 23,500 people in this stadium safely social distancing.”



Plans for stadiums to be reopened in October were postponed by the UK government because of the resurgence in Covid-19 cases and Tier 3 restrictions were imposed on Greater Manchester last week.

“We were really disappointed when the government decided not to allow fans back in the stadium in October because we’ve got everything in place to make sure we can do so safely,” Roche added.

“The government gave us guidelines and it’s those guidelines that we have followed. I’m convinced that would be able to do so safely.”

United’s plans would see staggered arrival times for fans and temperature checks before entry to the stadium.