Premier League boss optimistic fans can return next season

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters says there is optimism that fans will be allowed into stadiums next season, although it will probably happen gradually.

When the current league campaign resumes after the coronavirus stoppage on June 17 all matches will have to be played without supporters in attendance.

"No one knows when matches will move away from the behind-closed-doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place, but there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis," Masters told Sky Sports News.

"Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we've been working towards," he added.

"We all know the Premier League as we know and love it won't be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles."

Masters also said in the interview that the transfer window will open when the current season ends but there had been no decision yet on how long it would last.

"...there is a judgement call to be made and I think we'll get to that in the next couple of weeks," he said. "The transfer window will open after the end of the season. It's just a question of how long it goes on for."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)