‘Bemused’ Piers Morgan leads football fans’ fury after hundreds of people were allowed to attend events at the London Palladium despite supporters STILL being banned from stadiums… as Gary Lineker insists the rule ‘makes no sense whatsoever’
Piers Morgan and Gary Lineker have accused the government of hypocrisy after hundreds of people were allowed to attend performances at a London theatre – despite football fans still being banned from stadiums.
The London Palladium held two performances of musical Songs for a New World on Sunday, while the same venue also hosted an event on Monday evening which saw former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speak about his career.
But despite football supporters being allowed to watch the Frenchman discuss his time with the Gunners in person, they are still unable to attend live matches after the government cancelled plans for the return of supporters this month.
Theatregoers watched musical Songs for a New World at the London Palladium on Sunday
Hundreds of people wore face masks as the West End reopened after a seven-month hiatus
People gather outside the popular theatre before one of the two performances on Sunday
Pictures of a packed Palladium led to widespread fury across social media, with fans questioning why the events were allowed to go ahead inside, while outdoor matches have been deemed unsafe.
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan led the criticism, tweeting a picture of the crowd at the Wenger Q&A along with the message: ‘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.
His view was backed up by Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, who commented on Morgan’s post: ‘Makes no sense whatsoever.
‘You can listen to football chat in a relatively crowded indoor arena, but you can’t watch football with a limited crowd in an outdoor arena.’
Matches in the Premier League and Football League could be played behind closed doors until April next year after Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandoned plans to allow a small percentage of fans to return from October 1.
Mr Johnson warned that new restrictions could last for up to six months, potentially putting the rest of the rest of the season at risk.
Reacting to the pictures of the Palladium filled with people, Bolton fan @tylerbwfc wrote on Twitter: ‘This is beyond ridiculous Football can’t have its fans – outdoors, massively socially distanced. But the London Palladium can cram 1,000 people into an indoor event. Where’s the logic?’
Staff carried out temperature checks and urged people to follow a one-way route
Twitter user @Bov_ said: ‘Can’t have fans at the football, rugby, F1 etc, can’t have live music at small venues/arenas, or festivals, can’t be in a group of more than 6 people…… But we can open the theatres luvvies! London Palladium last night 11/10/20, 1,000 people in a 2,286 capacity theatre.’
‘London Palladium last night….. WTF How can the government justify not allowing a small percentage of football fans into outdoor arenas when this is happening?’ wrote @ElmParkRoyals on Twitter.
‘We are repeatedly told transmission risk is higher indoors. It’s the height of inconsistency that’s so frustrating.’
Sunday’s events saw the return of theatregoers to London’s West End for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed seven months ago.
The orchestra for Songs for a New World sat socially distanced on stage, while the singers avoid facing each other.
Staff at the theatre, owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres, carried out temperature checks, urged attendees to follow a one-way route around the building and offered an at-seat delivery service of refreshments.
Football fans were left furious after hundreds of people were allowed to see the musical