Steve Bruce has demanded Newcastle United fans are allowed back into St James' Park as quickly as possible – despite a strict local coronavirus lockdowns.
The United chief reckons the Premier League isn't a “spectacle” without St James' at least partly full and says the North East – hard hit by an extra lockdown rules on Thursday – needs a lift.
Bruce says the club are watching a pilot scheme to bring fans back in the Bundesliga this weekend closely, with stadia up to 20pc of capacity.
The Newcastle boss said: “If we ever need reminding of what the game is all about, it’s the lack of supporters at the moment. It’s just not the same.
“Whenever you talk about football and the supporters, without it its just not the spectacle. The pilot schemes are a start, and if we look at the Bundesliga they’re getting something like 20 per cent of their capacity this weekend. Let’s hope that is a success.
“We hope we can get fans back into the stadium. The whole of the NE has been rocked, so we could do with a bit of good news for a change. If the football gives people a bit of relief, then all well and good.”
Newcastle would lose £25m in “match day revenue” if the ground was shut to fans for a season – more than £1m a match.
Newcastle and surrounding council areas have been restricted this week with households not allowed to mix and pub curfews.
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Bruce, whose side face Brighton on Sunday in front of an empty stadium, said: “It’s a concern for the whole of the NE at the moment. We always seem to get it tough up here.
“In football I think we are the fortunate ones. We’re tested twice a week but further down the pyramid its not the case.”
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