This is why Newcastle United may be forced to play behind closed doors - but Sunderland AFC won't

Newcastle United may be forced to play some of their Premier League games behind closed doors – but reports suggest the EFL is considering allowing sides such as Sunderland to compete in front of spectators.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 7:38 am
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 5:52 pm

Both the Premier League and EFL have suspended fixtures until April 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak and, while that suspension may yet be extended, there is also the possibility that teams may be forced to play their remaining fixtures behind closed doors.

But reports from the Athletic suggest that while top flight sides such as Newcastle would likely have to play in front of empty stadiums should such a decision be reached, League One and Two sides could be allowed to welcome in spectators.

That’s because traditionally, sides lower down the EFL rely much more on gate money than those in the Premier League – with the league keen to ensure they do not cause financial issues for their clubs.

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Newcastle United could yet play games behind closed doors

The full report read: “t is expected the EFL will consider treating League One and Two teams differently... given the increased importance of gate receipts to smaller clubs and potentially allow games to go ahead with fans.”

The Athletic also claim that Championship sides would be likely to play behind closed doors should such a situation arise.

But, of course, there is no guarantee that any such measures will be taken – with both the Premier League and EFL set to meet later this week to confirm their plans for the near future.