Piers Morgan leads fans’ fury after Arsene Wenger event at London Palladium

Piers Morgan has voiced his confusion at the decision to allow fans to attend the London Palladium, but not football stadiums in the UK.

It’s now over seven months since fans were allowed to attend elite sporting events in the country, in line with the government’s coronavirus guidelines.

Pilot events were conducted earlier in the summer, but were indefinitely paused following a rise in cases.

Clubs across the football pyramid are becoming increasingly concerned at the bleak financial outlook that playing behind-closed-doors for much longer will present.

The Premier League released a lengthy statement last month, claiming they were disappointed by the decision to delay the chance of fans returning to football.

The statement read: “The Premier League notes the Government’s announcement and while the health of the nation must remain everyone’s priority, we are disappointed that the safe return of supporters to matches has been postponed.

“The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Grounds Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted.

“This is already evident in other European leagues.

“Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them.”

And the issue has once again come to the fore in the same week that harsher social distancing guidelines are being imposed on some areas of the country.

An image from an event involving Arsene Wenger at the London Palladium has drewn ire from fans across the country, with Arsenal supporter and TV personality, Piers Morgan questioning the decision to his 7.6million followers.

He posted: “How can the London Palladium be packed like this last night for an event with Arsene Wenger, but football fans aren’t allowed to watch matches outside even socially distanced? I’m completely bemused.”

More than 100,00 people have now backed the #LetFansIn movement with the hope of the idea being discussed in parliament in the coming days.

And there is support from some politicians, with MP Damian Collins – the former chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee, admitting that the decision making process looks flawed.

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“I totally get the frustration people feel, it’s the inconsistency,” Collins told talkSPORT. “Why is it that the Albert Hall is selling tickets for up to 3,000 [sic] to see a concert but you can’t get 3,000 people in Wembley Stadium?

“It seems to be one rule for one sector and something different for football, and we need to get this sorted out.

“As a football fan myself, I want to be back to watching football in grounds. It’s going to be a different sort of experience, people would have to come into the ground in a staggered process.

“But we know coronavirus doesn’t spread as effectively in outdoor settings, so that’s why I think we should be looking to do more to see how can get fans back into grounds, gradually increasing those numbers.”

Should fans be allowed back into stadiums to watch football? Have your say here

talkSPORT host Adrian Durham also took to social media to voice his frustration at the continuing reluctance to reverse the decision on football fans being allowed to return to grounds.

“London Palladium last night for An Evening With Arsene Wenger,” he tweeted. “Palladium is owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a Tory supporting multi millionaire who said he'd leave the country if Labour got in. Can anyone work out why the Palladium is open but football grounds aren't?”

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