Brentford followers buzzing as they kick off Premier League in opposition to Arsenal after greater than 70 years away from high flight | UK Information

Billy Grant has waited greater than 40 years for this.

Tonight, Brentford – the group he loves a lot he has made them the topic of over 700 episodes of a weekly podcast – will play their first sport in English soccer’s high flight since 1947.

Grant, nicknamed “Billy The Bee” after the west London membership, will be a part of greater than 17,000 different followers on the Brentford Neighborhood Stadium to see them tackle Arsenal within the opening fixture of this 12 months’s Premier League.

Billy Grant is nicknamed 'Billy The Bee' after the west London Club
Superfan Billy Grant says there is not any means he would have picked Brentford as a Premier League aspect just a few years in the past

“It is a bit surreal,” he mentioned. “The 40-odd years I’ve seen them play they’ve all the time been within the decrease leagues.

“When you requested me 5 – 6 years in the past, ‘would you see Brentford within the Premier League?’ I might have mentioned there is not any likelihood.”

After greater than a 12 months of disruption attributable to the pandemic, this weekend’s opening spherical of video games on this planet’s most profitable league would be the first to see grounds at full capability since March 2020.

At stadiums bigger than 20,000 seats, security precautions will nonetheless be in place, together with random spot-checks for folks’s COVID-19 standing, with followers having to show they’re totally vaccinated or have had a adverse lateral move check within the final 48 hours.

After losing out last season, Brentford won's this year's play-off final
After narrowly shedding out final season, Brentford received this 12 months’s play-off last
The group’s new stadium is prepared for its Premier League debut

The Premier League has additionally mentioned folks going to video games should adjust to a “supporter code of conduct”, which incorporates carrying masks indoors, avoiding shut contact with folks they have no idea and following one-way signage round stadiums.

Many followers have missed your entire matchday expertise, together with assembly up for pre-match pints.

“We have a saying: ‘By no means let the soccer smash a time out on the soccer,'” mentioned Darren Berry, an Arsenal fan who can be on the sport tonight.

“That is what it is all about, assembly up with like-minded folks. The sport’s the sport, you’ll be able to’t do something about that, however you’ll be able to nonetheless have time out.”

'Never let the football ruin a day out at the football,' says Arsenal fan Darren Berry
‘By no means let the soccer smash a time out on the soccer,’ says Arsenal fan Darren Berry

With tonight’s sport kicking off simply 31 days after the tip of Euro 2020, Richard Masters, the CEO of the Premier League, is anticipating the competitors to see a surge in reputation after England reached the ultimate of the match.

“The Premier League all the time will get a lift from main competitors, so I feel there will be extra curiosity than regular due to Gareth Southgate’s incredible England group efficiency in the course of the summer time,” he mentioned.

Bukayo Saka
Euro 2020 reignited the racism debate following the abuse suffered by the likes of Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka

Euro 2020 additionally reignited the talk about racism in soccer following the abuse suffered by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, the three gamers who missed their spot kicks in a penalty shootout in opposition to Italy.

Masters says the league can be taking a zero-tolerance method to racism, with anybody caught utilizing discriminatory language on the grounds or on-line banned from all Premier League stadiums.

Identical to they did final season, all 20 golf equipment will proceed to take the knee, however there can be two noticeable exceptions – Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha and Brentford’s Ivan Toney have determined not to participate within the gesture.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha. File pic
Palace’s Wilfred Zaha and the Bees’ Ivan Toney have determined to not take the knee

Talking earlier this week to Sky Sports activities Information, Toney mentioned he felt that taking the knee was not having an affect.

“Everybody could have their very own views. They’ve come to the conclusion they may take the knee,” he mentioned.

“Pay attention, everybody can discover the negatives from it, everybody can discover the positives from it. All that issues on the finish of the day is what I consider it.

“That’s all that issues to me, my household and the membership. They’re supporting me on my resolution, they again me all the way in which.”

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