Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says he has not lost hope that fans could be back before the end of the season.
Supporters were last allowed into sports grounds in December, but it emerged this week that the Football Association and English Football League are in talks with the government about fans returning for the Carabao Cup final and FA Cup final at Wembley in April and May respectively.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a road map for how the UK will come out of its current national lockdown on Monday.
Speaking at Thursday’s Financial Times’ Business of Football summit, Masters said: “We are getting used to watching live football on television without fans in the stadiums, and I don’t want to get used to it for much longer.
“Hopefully we will see an end to that and a return of supporters as soon as possible.
“I am confident [fans will return next season].
“No one can say because this pandemic has a way of surprising you as it did over Christmas, but we haven’t lost hope we might see a few back even this season, depending on what happens and the direction of the numbers and government decisions etc.
“Certainly, I hope next season it opens up quickly and we can work with the government again and with the rest of sport, and get fans back in the stadium in real numbers and get back to the real Premier League.”