West Ham fans ‘can watch Manchester City clash in a cinema half a mile away from the London Stadium for £6.99 each’ as supporters remain shut out
- West Ham fans can watch the Man City game within half a mile of the ground
- Vue cinema in Westfield Stratford will be screening the game on Saturday
- More than 100 Irons fans will be able to watch the game for £6.99 each
- It highlights the inconsistency in keeping supporters shut out from stadiums
The Premier League tie, set to take place on Saturday, will be screened in a number of Vue cinemas, including in the Westfield Stratford centre, just a few minutes’ walk from the stadium, as first reported by The Times.
The cinema will be able to admit more than 100 fans to view the game, with tickets priced at £6.99 each for the screening.
West Ham supporters will be able to watch the game with Man City half a mile from the ground
Saturday’s Premier League clash will remain behind closed doors amid the coronavirus crisis
The screening highlights the inconsistency in rules allowing games to be shown indoors at cinemas while a limited number of fans are prohibited from attending the games, held in outdoor stadiums.
This contradiction has been raised by Tom Pendry, president of the Football Foundation.
‘This vividly illustrates the complete and utter nonsense of the situation. I intend to get a full debate on this in the House of Lords,’ he told The Times.
Games have been screened at cinemas this season but none have been shown at a a cinema so close to the venue.
But Vue cinema in Westfield shopping centre will show the game for £6.99 per ticket
Supporters have been locked out of stadiums since the coronavirus lockdown in March
Baroness Barran, a minister from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said it was ‘not the right time to make further easements’ with regard to allowing fans to return to games.
‘We are committed to getting spectators back in stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sports, including football, to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return,’ she said.
Supporters who view the game in the cinema will be required to don face masks when not eating or drinking.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden last week ‘accepted people’s frustration at the inconsistency,’ with government policy surrounding the attending of different events.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden says supporters can not yet return
Yet Mr Dowden stressed that the decision to keep fans out of stadiums was taken on the advice of expert scientists.
In response to the #LetFansIn petition, which has garnered support from the Premier League and Football League, the DCMS said on Thursday morning: ‘We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadia but this must clearly be done carefully against the prevailing health conditions.
‘The government is fully aware of the importance of getting spectators back and the financial consequences not to allow this from October 1.
‘The evidence received from the CMO (Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty) was very clear, at a time of rapidly rising infections. It was not the right time to undertake easements.’