Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Thomas Mallows

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    That's all from this live page - thanks for tuning in.

    Don't forget to stick with the BBC Sport website for coverage of tonight's Europa League games.

    Arsenal, Leicester, Tottenham, Celtic and Rangers are all in action, so it's sure to be a busy one.

    But, for now, it's farewell.

  2. 'We've got a very patient supporter base'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Here's more from Brighton chief executive Paul Barber, who is hopeful the imminent roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine will allow clubs to welcome back more fans early in the new year.

    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We would hope that the quicker we can build bigger crowds, the more viable staging matches will become. I think moving to Tier 1 would give us 4,000 supporters, so that would be another step up, but hopefully the vaccine can accelerate the number of people coming back to games sooner

    "One thing's for sure, is that clubs at all levels really can't operate, in our case 6% of our capacity.

    "We really do need to see a road map towards bigger crowds, more sustainable crowds.

    "We've got a very patient supporter base, who have supported the club through a very difficult period. But now they just want to get back and watch their football, enjoy their time with family and friends at a game, and we want to try and facilitate that as quickly as we can"

  3. Thursday's gossip: Villa value Grealish at £100m

    Here are some of the transfer rumours in our gossip column this morning:

    Aston Villa believe 25-year-old England midfielder Jack Grealish, who has been linked with Manchester City, is worth at least £100m.(Telegraph - subscription required)

    Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar, 28, says he wants to play with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, 33, again and they have to "do it again next season". The pair played together at Barcelona before Neymar joined PSG. (ESPN)

    Inter Milan would be prepared to sell Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar, 25, to Tottenham for £45m next month. (Sun)

    Dutch central defender Perr Schuurs, 21, who has been linked with Liverpool, insists he is not yet ready to leave Ajax. (Mirror)

    For the rest of today's rumours, head over to today's gossip column here.

  4. How do fans feel about a European Super League?

    Fans on Football Logo

    Part two of our Fans on Football poll has been finding out your thoughts on the prospect of a European Super League.

    It is a topic that keeps raising its head and always proves controversial. The theory is that the continent's top sides will eventually break away from their domestic leagues to form their own competition.

    But what do you think?

    Head over here to find out.

  5. 'We need to build confidence of the fans'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says the Seagulls will lose money despite having supporters back for their game against Southampton on Monday, though he hopes this can be a "road map" towards bigger crowds in the future.

    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What we need now is a road map towards bigger crowds, and it's really important for all clubs at all levels that we get that road map as soon as possible.

    "We see this particular exercise as a bit of an investment in building confidence, which I think is very important for clubs at every level. We need to build confidence of the fans, but we also need to build confidence of government, to enable us to stage larger events more safely going forward"

  6. 'Football gets some of its soul back'

    Phil McNulty

    BBC Sport chief football writer

    When Wycombe Wanderers fans turned their attention from giving their own team a standing ovation to sending referee Darren Bond down the tunnel with what might be politely termed a flea in his ear, it was confirmation that part of football's lost soul had returned.

    Bond, who has been leading a relatively quiet life officiating in empty stadiums, could not resist a smile as even he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the game's normal service had been resumed.

    If football has sometimes seemed a cold and soulless occupation in recent months it is because an irreplaceable part of that soul was missing. It returned in the shape of 1,000 Wycombe supporters at Adams Park.

    And despite defeat and disappointment for home fans here, this was the night when some of the most important connections finally started to be re-established between clubs and their fanbases.

    Read more from BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty here.

    Wycombe playing Stoke with fans sat socially distanced in the stands
  7. 'A long road ahead, but it felt ever so slightly closer tonight'

    Southport 0-1 Farsley Celtic

    Southport fan Callum Watterson: "It's a cliche, but tonight was about a lot more than the result, it was about getting behind an important part of our local community. It was a wet, dark, December night, but it was good to have something back from my old life.

    "In terms of atmosphere, there were probably about 500-600 fans in total, out of a maximum safe capacity of 800, the covered standing terrace I was in, probably had about 120 fans in.

    "The general mood was a little bit subdued, but I don't know if that was down to a sense of shock at returning or a bit of an anti-climatic match. Overall, tonight felt like a step towards getting back to something like a normal life, without getting too ahead of myself.

    "It may be a long road ahead, but it felt ever so slightly closer tonight."

    To read more from fans who returned to their team's stadium last night, head over here.

    Southport fan Callum Watterson
  8. 'We're looking forward to having them back'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has been speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme about the return of crowds to Premier League stadiums this weekend.

    "We're in Tier 2, we'll be having 2,000 supporters on Monday night [against Southampton]. We're looking forward to that," he said.

    "We've already selected the supporters by ballot. They'll be required to complete a health declaration 24 hours before the game on Monday. Then they'll be subject to a number of changes to the way they're used to their match days at the Amex. But we're looking forward to having them back"

  9. 'Awful match but good to be back'

    Southport 0-1 Farsley Celtic, National League North

    National League North side Southport also welcomed back supporters on Wednesday night. Sandgrounders fan Warwick Monk told BBC Sport what his return to football was like:

    "We got told to arrive at the ground early to help with the Covid regulations and arrived at 7.10. All went very smoothly outside the ground, with stewards (and police surprisingly for our level) making sure we all had masks on.

    "Outside the turnstiles was a hand sanitizing machine and also inside to the entrance to the main stand. The seats were marked with green dots for the membership/season ticket holders reserved seats.

    "So good to be back in our beautiful stadium with my bubble of friends, watching football LIVE compared to the streaming we've had from the club is so much more rewarding. For the atmosphere and the banter with your mates around you.

    "Masks had to be worn on the way in and out. But you could take them off when sat down but I would say most people kept them on for the whole match. Awful match and result, lost 1-0, but boy oh boy is it good to be back with the Main Stand Moaners! Superb to be back."

    Southport fan Warwick Monk
  10. PL clubs to discuss EFL bail-out today

    Dan Roan

    BBC sports editor

    A proposed emergency financial rescue package for the English Football League (EFL) will be discussed by Premier League clubs at a meeting today, as a bail-out for cash-strapped lower-league clubs moves a step closer.

    The Premier League called a meeting yesterday to sign-off on protocols, rules and regulations for the return of fans. But BBC Sport has learned that a bail-out offer has also been added to the agenda, and there are hopes this morning that it could be agreed later today. It is unclear how much the offer would amount to.

    The Premier League offered an initial £50m package of loans and grants to Leagues 1 and 2 several weeks ago, which the EFL rejected.

    The Premier League said it would help Championship clubs facing ruin as a result of the pandemic on an ad hoc basis, but it has been under mounting pressure from government to improve its offer, especially after elite men’s football was left out of the government’s £300m bail-out of spectator sports.

    Last month Culture secretary Oliver Dowden told BBC Sport that he hoped the Premier League would offer the £250m that the EFL has said it needs to cover losses from having no gate receipts.

    Any new deal would need to be considered by the EFL.

  11. 'A safe environment'

    Cambridge 0-1 Mansfield, League Two

    Cambridge fan Roger Watson: "Firstly, it was great to be able to watch a live match although the result could have been better. The organisation by Cambridge United was first class.

    "With clear directions to your allocated seat, no issues with social distancing and regular announcements reminding you the need to socially distance. At the end of the match the fans were told when to leave so again avoiding a build up of fans anywhere. Face masks were compulsory but no one objected to this.

    "In the whole it seemed a safe environment. The atmosphere was so much better than watching from home and hopefully all clubs will be able to welcome fans sooner rather than later."

  12. 'It was wonderful to be back'

    Charlton 0-1 MK Dons, League One

    Charlton fan Stavros Demetriades: "It felt like home from home and although a little surreal with only 2,000 people in attendance, it was wonderful to be back after so long away.

    "The atmosphere at kick-off was good and noisy considering the attendance, but it felt somewhat surreal being able to hear the players and even both managers having heated discussions with the fourth official during the game.

    "Apart from the disappointing result, from the home team's perspective, it was really enjoyable and the event was extremely well managed by all at Charlton Athletic, from an email in the morning outlining the protocol to managing the staggered exit of all the fans at the end. Here's to the next match at The Valley."

  13. 'An emotional night'

    Luton 3-1 Norwich, Championship

    Luton fan Phil Dowty was one of the lucky few fans who returned to football on Wednesday night, watching his side beat Championship league leaders Norwich.

    An emotional night, finally back at Kenilworth Road. Absolutely buzzing to be back as it has been too long. It was a strange experience with all the restrictions but just great to see the boys. They took my temperature as I came in, there were stewards everywhere telling you where to go. Hopefully more fans will be allowed back in soon.

    Luton fan Phil Dowty
  14. Fans return to stadiums

    Let's turn our attention to a significant night in the English Football League, where fans returned to grounds for the first time in more than nine months as coronavirus restrictions were eased.

    Luton and Wycombe, who had not played in front of fans at their home grounds since February, were permitted capacities of 1,000 for their matches.

    Carlisle, Charlton, Shrewsbury and Cambridge also welcomed back fans.

    BBC Sport spoke to some of the supporters who had made trip back through the turnstiles...

  15. Football Daily Podcast

    Want more reaction and analysis of Wednesday night's games? Then make sure you check out the Football Daily Podcast using the link below!

    View more on twitter
  16. Post update

    The back pages

    The Times carry an image of Neymar celebrating against Manchester United alongside a story about British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who has asked to be taken of the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

    You can read more about that story here.

    Times back page
  17. 'Fred sees red'

    The back pages

    Fred's misdemeanors also leads the Telegraph back page alongside a welcome good news story, with organisers of some of the UK's biggest sporting events planning to welcome back capacity crowds next summer following news of a Covid-19 vaccine being approved.

    Telegraph back page
  18. 'Neym and shame'

    The back pages

    Mirror back page
    Guardian back page
  19. 'Hanging by a Fred'

    The back pages

    Manchester United's defeat to Paris Saint-Germain unsurprisingly leads many of the back pages, with the Express and Star coming up with a couple of Fred-based puns.

    Express back page
    Star back page