LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 23, 2021: Liverpool supporters sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool City Council gives big boost in plan for return of fans to Anfield

Liverpool City Council has recommended the return to “almost full capacity” at Anfield for the start of the 2021/22 campaign, ahead of the lifting of restrictions.

Monday will see COVID-19 restrictions lifted across the UK, with limits on the number of people permitted to gather and the mandatory wearing of face masks to conclude.

This has paved the way for the return of supporters to football games, which will be the first time in over a year that more than 10,000 fans have been able to attend Anfield.

Liverpool last played in front of a packed stadium in March 2020, for their Champions League last 16 defeat to Atletico Madrid, which saw an official attendance of 52,267.

The Reds are set to get close to that number again by the start of the 2021/22 campaign, with Liverpool City Council recommending the approval of “almost full capacity” at Anfield and Goodison Park when restrictions end.

Their Ground Safety Advisory Group added that this was “subject to Premier League protocols and the latest government Covid guidelines on major events.”

Protocols are yet to be finalised, but it is expected that test events will take place during pre-season, with clubs able to conduct their own safety checks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 12, 2019: Liverpool supporters take photos of team bus arrive with their smart phones before the final FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield is pencilled in for at least one pre-season friendly when Jurgen Klopp and his squad return from Austria next month, with Osasuna a potential opponent.

Those friendlies could see close to maximum attendance at the stadium, with it unclear at this stage as to why only an “almost full” capacity has been recommended.

But with businesses and councils still weighing up the most comfortable route out of lockdown and 16 months of restrictions, every precaution necessary will be taken.

Liverpool begin the 2021/22 campaign away to Norwich on August 14, with their first home game of the Premier League season against Burnley on August 21.